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Preventing Fires

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Tips for Home Fire Safety

INSTALL AND MAINTAIN SMOKE DETECTORS
Properly maintained smoke detectors can alert you to hazards in your home in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home including the basement, and consider locating them outside of each bedroom. 

Test your detectors every month according to the manufacturer's instructions. Replace batteries twice every year, or whenever a detector "chirps" to signal low battery power.

A helpful reminder: Change detector batteries when you change your clocks in the spring and the fall. Remember - a detector without a working battery cannot save your life!

INSTALL AND MAINTAIN CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) DETECTORS
With the rising popularity of home kerosene heaters, the danger of death by carbon monoxide poisoning has increased. CO detectors monitor the level of carbon monoxide in the air that your family breathes inside your home and are recommended whether or not you use a kerosene heater. Follow the manufacturer's directions for installation, reading, and maintenance. If the detector reads over 35 parts per million (PPM) or sounds an alarm, call 911.

PLAN YOUR FAMILY’S ESCAPE FROM FIRE
If a fire breaks out in your home, you must get out fast! Plan ahead. Have a family meeting and agree on an escape plan. Be sure everyone knows at least one unobstructed exit from every room and every part of your home.

Decide on an outside meeting place where the family will go after leaving the house. Your entire household should practice the escape plan at least twice a year.

BE CAREFUL WHILE SMOKING
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in North America! The best way to avoid this danger, of course, is to smoke only outside of your home. But if someone in your family smokes inside of your residence, use deep, non-tip ashtrays and soak cigarette butts in water before discarding.

Smoking in bed or when drowsy can be deadly. Before going to bed or leaving the house, check throughout for smoldering cigarettes.

COOK CAREFULLY
Never leave a hot stovetop unattended, and keep cooking areas clear of anything that might catch fire.

Enforce a 'kid-free zone' within three feet around the stove, and turn pot handles inward on the stove where no one can bump them and children can't grab them.

Have a pot lid handy in case of a grease fire. If grease catches fire in a pan, it cannot be put out with water. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the heat to deprive the fire of oxygen.

GIVE SPACE HEATERS SPACE
Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Keep children and pets away from space heaters and NEVER leave heaters on or plugged in when you leave home or go to bed.

KEEP MATCHES, LIGHTERS AND CANDLES AWAY FROM CHILDREN
Use child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters where children cannot see or reach them. Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, and should only be used by adults or with adult supervision.

The popularity of decorative candles makes them a danger as well. Teach children to never light a candle without adult supervision and never play with lit candles. Adults and children alike should never leave a burning candle unattended.

USE ELECTRICITY SAFELY
Always keep small appliances such as toasters and coffeemakers unplugged when not in use. If an electrical appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, then have it serviced before using it again.

Replace electrical cords that are cracked or frayed. Don't overload extension cords or run them under rugs.

COOL A BURN
Run cool water over a burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Don't use ice. Never put butter or any grease on a burn. If burned skin blisters or is charred, see a doctor immediately.

CRAWL LOW UNDER SMOKE
During a fire, smoke and poisonous gases rise with the heat. The air is more breathable near the floor. If you encounter smoke when escaping from a fire, use an alternate escape route if possible.

STOP, DROP AND ROLL
If your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over to smother the flames.

KIDS – LEARN MORE ABOUT PREVENTING FIRES AND FIRE SAFETY AT CAMP 911