Safety Tips >

Smoking and Ashtrays

When you're cleaning up after a party, put the ashtrays in the kitchen sink overnight, instead of emptying them right into the trash. A discarded cigarette might not be completely out, and a smoldering fire can result. Make a check of couch and chairs any time people have been smoking by turning over the cushions and checking for a dropped cigarette or ash. if a cushion or the couch has been burned or scorched, put it outside for the night. As for smoking in bed, don't do it. It's not worth the risk.

Don't Store Gasoline

Whether it's for lawnmowers or cars, storing gasoline is trouble. Gasoline expands, which causes fumes to escape and spread along the floor. These fumes will travel along lower than the pilot light of your water heater, furnace or oven. By the time the accumulation reaches the level of the pilot light, you have the potential for an explosion in a large area.

Plan Ahead

Don't forget to sit down with your family to talk about what each person should do in the event of a fire. Know where all of the exit points in your home are and don't forget to plan escape routes and to identify a location where everyone should meet to ensure that the entire family is safely out of the fire.

What To Do In The Event Of A Fire

Don't Panic, think carefully. If fire breaks out, the best rule is to escape from the home. But, some small fires can be rapidly extinguished by using a multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher. This type of extinguisher is good for use on wood, flammable liquid and electrical fires. In the kitchen, where grease fires are common, a dry chemical extinguisher is most effective. If the fire is burning in the pan, the quickest way to put it out is to cover it with a lid and turn off the heat source. If the fire is from accumulated or spilled grease, use an extinguisher. When a small fire can't be put out quickly, call the fire department immediately. If the size of the fire makes it impossible to use the phone, get out and use a neighbor's.

Getting Out Of Your Home Or A Building

In the event of a fire, the personal safety of you and your family comes first. Knowing what to do and where to go can save precious seconds. First, decide which method of escape to use. Going through a door is the easiest and most natural route to take, but you may have to use a window as an alternate route.

Before opening any doors, feel the door with the palm of your hand. If after a few seconds you feel no heat from the door, chances are escape can be made through a hall or front door. Be sure you close any windows before opening the door and close all doors behind you to slow the spread of fire. Heat and gases can't always be seen or smelled, but they're always present. Also, remember to stay low to the ground when making your escape. For some people, this means getting down on all fours.

Using the window as an escape will depend on how close the fire is. If the door feels warm or hot to the touch, don't open it. The smoke and fire are right outside the door. Use the window. Or if the fire in your hall or stairway is too severe, you may also have to leave by a window. A window escape from a second story is less risky if you hang from the window sill by your finger tips before you drop to the ground. Falling in this manner will reduce impact. A rope escape ladder is also a consideration.

Once you and your family are out of the home, go to the prearranged meeting place and stay there. Don't allow anyone to go back into the house to recover a pet, toy or valuables.

At the meeting place, count noses and let firefighters know if everyone is present or if someone is missing. Each year firefighters are injured and sometimes killed searching house for someone who has already escaped. The time spent in useless searching could have been used to put out the fire and save your belongings.

Most Of All - Create A Fire Plan

It's worth the time it takes to create a fire plan for your family. From installing smoke detectors in all critical locations to creating an escape route, you can take steps to ensure that you and your family are prepared to deal with the hazards of a fire.

Above all, prepare a household inventory of all your belongings and any serial numbers. Update it and keep it outside the home, such as in a safety deposit box, so it will not be destroyed in the event of a fire.

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