Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fire Safety Tips For Your Home

Every household needs a smoke detector outside of each sleeping area and also on every level of the house, including the basement. Test smoke detectors once a month -- always keep new batteries on hand and replace them once a year, even if it isn't necessary. Teach your children about smoke detectors. Let them help test the detectors, so they recognize the alarm. Follow up by practicing your escape route.

Teach children that if they find matches, they should tell an adult the location right away.

Make sure a household member is trained to use the fire extinguisher -- the ideal place for the extinguisher is in the kitchen.

Draw a simple picture of your home. Plan at least two escape routes from your home and two ways to get out of every room. Decide who will take charge of each child. Show children who live in high-rise buildings the shortest route to a safe exit. Warn them not to use the elevator.

Pick a safe place outside to meet family members after escaping from a fire -- remember, get out and call 911 -- do not try to put out the fire yourself and do not go back inside for any reason. Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year, and do it at night, when most deadly fires occur.

Do you have a number on the front of your house? Can the number be seen easily from the street during the day and night? This is very important in case the driver of a fire truck or ambulance needs to find your house quickly. House numbers can be purchased at a low cost from a hardware store.

Real fires are FAST. In a few minutes your whole house could be on fire. Temperatures can be more than 600 degrees. You may not be able to breathe or see anything.

Each year, fires and burns kill hundreds of children and permanently scar thousands, yet more fire victims die from the smoke than flames. Smoke can overwhelm a child or adult in minutes.

Get out fast; seconds count. Phone for help from a neighbor's home, not from inside a burning building. Cover your mouth and nose. Crawl low under the smoke to the nearest exit.

Test the door before opening it. If it's hot or there's smoke, use another way out.

Once out, stay out. There's nothing more important in your home than you. If someone is missing, tell a firefighter immediately. Gather at your designated meeting place, and NEVER go back into a burning building.

If your clothing catches on fire, STOP. Running fans the flames, making fire burn faster. Shout for help. Don't run for help. Drop to the floor and cover your face. Roll back and forth to put out flames. Cool a burn with cool water.

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