Fire Safety for the Home
Plan and practice your escape from fire.
Panic and fear can spread as quickly as a fire, so plan an escape route with the entire family and map out a meeting place outdoors. If you live in a condo or apartment building, make sure you read the signs posted on your floor advising you of the locations of stairways and other exits, as well as alarm pull stations and fire extinguishers.
Plan your escape around your abilities.
Keeping a phone by your bedside will allow you to quickly call 911, especially if your exits are blocked by smoke/flames. Keep a pair of shoes near your bed, too. If your home or building has a fire escape, take some time to practice operating it and climbing it.
Smoke alarms save lives.
If you don’t already have smoke alarms located outside each bedroom and on each floor, purchase units and place them in those locations. Also, install carbon monoxide detectors, which can protect family members from lethal poisoning even before a fire starts.
Give space heaters space.
When using space heaters, make sure you have at least 3 feet of clearance on each side. Make sure to turn off and unplug them when you’re finished ith them or when you go to bed. Electrical appliances draw current even when they’re turned off, so a faulty heater can cause a fire inside the walls.
This will keep your family members healthier and your home smelling more fresh. It will also minimize the chance that tiny embers from your cigarette will drop and smolder unnoticed until it causes damage. If you smoke, smoke outside.
Remember what you have on the stove and remember what’s baking in the oven. Make sure to not cook if you’re tired or taking medication that clouds your judgment or makes you sleepy. To be kitchen-wise also means to know how to put out a grease fire: water will make it spread, but baking soda or salt will extinguish it quickly. Always use your cooktop’s vent fan while cooking. Also, keep a small, all-purpose fire extinguisher in a handy place, such as under the sink or in a cabinet. Read the instructions on these inexpensive devices when you buy them, so that you can act quickly, if anything happens.
Stop, drop & roll.
If you have a fire blanket handy where you are, cover yourself with it to tamp out any flames, and douse yourself with water as soon as you can. Always stay close to the floor during a fire. Heat and smoke rise, and breathable air is found at the floor-level, giving you a greater chance of escape before being overcome by smoke.
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