If a fire starts in your home, you may have only minutes or seconds to escape. Would you be able to react in time? Would your children or others in your home know what to do? If you can not answer a confident 'yes', it's not too late to get prepared. Home fires do not discriminate. They can start anytime of the day, week, or year, to homes large or small. Although not all home fires can be prevented, being prepared is the best way to ensure the safety of your family.
Child fire safety
- Children are very vulnerable when it comes to fires. Talking to your children regularly about the dangers of fire and fire safety is very important.The sound of a smoke alarm can be scary for children. Teach them what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear one. In case of a fire all children should know to:
- Cover their mouths with a cloth or an article of clothing to protect from dangerous fumes.
- Crawl to the nearest exit. Smoke rises so stay as low to the ground as possible.
- Touch the door to see if it is hot; if it is, find another exit.
- Never use an elevator during a fire.
- Stop, drop, and roll if their clothes should catch fire.
- Teach kids never to touch matches or lighters, and make it a habit of storing these items up high.
Smoke alarms and Carbon monoxide detectors
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and around sleeping areas. Remember smoke rises so place them on the ceiling or high on walls.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. High CO levels or long-term exposure to CO can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal. To protect your family from this poisonous gas, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and around sleeping areas.
- Security Essentials & Home Entertainment's alarm systems offer the benefit of alerting homeowners to a fire or carbon monoxide leak. Our home alarm systems save lives by providing these two protections.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and change batteries at least once a year.
- Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm.
- Check your electrical cords, and appliances. Your favorite coffee maker or hair dryer could be a fire hazard. Check all appliances for loose or frayed cords or plugs. Replace or repair any appliances that spark or overheat.
- Do not overload outlets with too many plugs.
- Light fixtures should only use bulbs with the correct wattage.
- Be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects. Many home fires are caused by improper installation of electrical devices.
- Most home fires begin in the kitchen, therefore making simple safe habits around the kitchen can greatly reduce your chance of a house fire.
- Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, broiling or grilling food and turn off the stove if you need to leave the room.
- Do not leave your home if you are baking, boiling, simmering or roasting food and use a timer so that you know when food should be done.
- Keep all flammable materials, pot holders, paper towels, dish towels, etc., away from your stove.
- Place fire extinguishers throughout the house, and make sure everyone knows how to use them properly.
Having an escape plan and practicing it often, increases your family's chances of escaping a home fire safely.
- Go through each room and plan for two escape routes incase one is blocked by a fire.
- Make sure all windows open easily and are not painted, taped or nailed shut.
- If you live in an apartment or a home with more than one story, have an escape ladder in all bedrooms above ground level. Escape ladders should be made of fire proof materials.
- Make sure everyone in your family knows where to meet after they have exited the building. This area should be a safe distance from your home or apartment building.
- Practice your escape route with random drills at least twice a year at different times of the day. Use a stop watch to time how long it takes for everyone to escape
- Remember to Get Out, Stay Out, and then call 9-1-1, because you may only have a few minutes to escape a fire safely.
- If you find yourself trapped in a room, try to close off any areas where smoke can enter the room, open a window and call 9-1-1.