Fire Prevention in Your Home

SMOKE DETECTORS

Smoke is responsible for three out of four fire related deaths.

Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and in bedrooms.  Don’t install in kitchen, the false alarms will drive you crazy.

Test every smoke detector once a month. Replace the batteries once a year or more often if the detector makes a chirping sound.

If you buy a new one make sure if is approved by U.L. and the State Fire Marshal

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Your fire extinguisher should be a minimum of 4A10BC (see specifications on name plate) and U.L. or State fire Marshal approved.

Your extinguisher should be serviced once a year by a licensed fire extinguisher service company.

Learn how to use your fire extinguisher before an emergency.  When it is time to get it serviced take it out and practice with it.  Let your family get the feel of using one.

Dial 911 and then fight the fire.

Fire extinguishers should be located in the kitchen, garage or workshop areas.  Extinguisher should be located near exits.  Always leave yourself an escape route.

Small kitchen fires in pans on the stove can be extinguished by putting the lids on. NEVER pour water on a grease fire.

EXIT PLAN

Sleep with your bedroom doors closed.  In case of a fire it holds the smoke and heat back. Check the door with the back of your hand and if it is hot do not open it, find another exit.

Remember smoke and heat rises, stay low, crawl if you have to.

Easy- to-use window escape ladders are available for two story homes.

Each family should have an escape plan.  Run fire drills with your young children; make sure your children know how to open doors and windows.  In efforts to make homes burglar proof, they are sometimes turned into death traps.

Establish a meeting place for your family.  Several years ago a father died in a fire near me after reentering the home, because he was unable to locate his daughter.  He died in the fire while his daughter was already outside on the other side of the house.

FURNACES/SPACE HEATERS

Install and maintain heating equipment properly.

Don’t store flammable materials, newspapers, rags, cleaning supplies or flammable liquids near a furnace, water heater, space heater or other source of open flame.

Don’t leave space heaters on when you are not in the room.  All space heater should be in good condition. Make sure the cords are not frayed or damaged.  Space heaters should be U.L. approved.

Don’t use extension cords with space heaters.

Never use a kitchen range as a substitute for a heater.

ELECTRICAL HAZARDS

Always be sure your electric blanket is turned off, when you get up in the morning.

Try and avoid the use of extension cords.  If you must use one, get a good heavy duty cord, U.L. approved and make sure it is in good condition.

Never overload a plug. The use of “octopus” outlets, outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs are strongly discouraged.

If a circuit breaker blows, it is a good thing.  It has done its job and warned you of an overloaded circuit.  Reduced the load on the circuit and if it continues call a qualified electrician. If you have screw type fuses never put a penny behind them and never try and tape circuit breakers in the on position.

In many older homes, the capacity of the electrical system does not meet the requirements of today’s modern appliances. Signs that your system may be overloaded include dimming lights when appliances are turned on, shrinking TV picture, slow heating appliances, or fuses or circuit breakers blowing frequently. This condition could result in a fire.

GASOLINE AND FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS

Flammable liquids should be stored in state approved containers.

Flammable liquids should not be stored in the house or attached garage and never near heat sources.

Never use gasoline or flammable liquids to clean floors or other general cleaning.

Do not use gasoline to start trash fires.

CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN

Keep lighters and matches away from children

Never leave children alone with fire.

If children stay with you overnight occasionally, make sure they know how to escape from your home and are part of your exit plan.

WILD LAND FIRES

This will be talked about in another post.

CANDLES, LANTERNS AND FIREPLACES

Will be covered in another post.

Howard

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One Response to Fire Prevention in Your Home

  1. caryn verell says:

    look to the outside of your house…clean up the yard of pinestraw, leaves and anything else that might make a fire run out of control and burn hot…like old tires, uncut dry grass, trash etc… i always feel really sorry for those folks who are suffering and losing their homes to wild fires.. especially when those fires are being fed by the tinder that environmentalists don’t want cleaned up. have a hose attached to every outdoor spigot and the sprayers on those hoses should be heavy duty for the purpose of putting out fires…

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