Home Fire Safety
Home Fire Protection and Prevention
There are few things that frighten people more than imagining their home on fire. Will everyone be able to get out safely? What about the pets?
In order to keep everyone safe, you need to have a plan that shows each family member how they are going to get out in case a fire starts in the home. And remember: Every room in the house needs TWO escape routes.
It is important to PRACTICE your fire safety plan
The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property:
Home Fire Safety: Smoke Alarms
- Install First Alert Double Sensor Battery-Powered Smoke and Fire Alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying by half.
- Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. Place them outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
- Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
Home Fire Safety: Escaping
- Review fire escape routes with your family. Practice escaping from each room.
- Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
- Consider Kidde Two-Story Fire Escape Ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other anti-theft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
- Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer) when escaping.
- Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash, such as old newspapers and magazines, accumulate.
Home Fire Safety: Other Things You Should Know and need
- Sleep with your door closed.
- Install a Kidde Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher in your residence and teach family members how to use them. One for the Kitchen, Garage and upstairs.
- Consider installing an automatic sprinkler system in your residence.
- Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention tips.
Home Fire Safety: Flammable Items
- Never use gasoline, benzine, naptha, or similar flammable liquids indoors.
- Store flammable liquids in approved containers in well-ventilated storage areas.
- Never smoke near flammable liquids.
- Discard all rags or materials that have been soaked in flammable liquids after you have used them. Safely discard them outdoors in a metal container.
- Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. The chimney should be at least three feet higher than the roof. Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney.
Home Fire Safety: Electrical Wiring
- Have the electrical wiring in your residence checked by an electrician.
- Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
- Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
- Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high-traffic areas.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets. If you need to plug in two or three devices, get a Fellowes 6-Outlet Power Strip with circuit breakers to prevent sparks and short circuits.
- Make sure insulation does not touch bare electrical wiring.
Home Fire Safety: Heating Sources
- Be careful when using alternative heating sources.
- Check with your local fire department about the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Be sure to fill kerosene heaters outside, and be sure they have cooled.
- Place heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials. Make sure the floor and nearby walls are properly insulated.
- Use only the type of fuel designated for your unit and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Store ashes in a metal container outside and away from your residence.
- Keep open flames away from walls, furniture, drapery, and flammable items.
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace.
- Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children, and, if possible, in a locked cabinet.
- Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. Provide smokers with deep, sturdy ashtrays. Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
Fire Survival Tips
In a Vehicle
- This is dangerous and should only be done in an emergency, but you can survive the firestorm if you stay in your car. It is much less dangerous than trying to run from it on foot.
- Roll up windows and close air vents. Drive slowly with headlights on. Watch for other vehicles and pedestrians. Do not drive through heavy smoke.
- If you have to stop, park away from the heaviest trees and brush. Turn headlights on and ignition off. Roll up windows and close air vents.
- Get on the floor and cover up with a blanket or coat.
- Stay in the car. Do not run! Engine may stall and not restart.
- Air currents may rock the car. Some smoke and sparks may enter the vehicle.
- Temperature inside will increase. Metal gas tanks and containers rarely explode.
In your Home
- Homes get hot and smoky very fast making it hard to breathe and see.
- The air near the ground is cleaner and easier to breathe, so crawl on the floor to an exit.
- Feel to see if doors are hot. If a door is hot, do not open it. Go to your second exit. If the door is cool, open it and see if you can go out that way.
- Go outside as soon as you can and go to your family’s safe meeting place outside.
- Do not stop and look for anything or anyone. Even one moment can make a difference in life or death.
- If you cannot get outside, do not hide in a closet or under the bed.
- If you can’t get out of your room, make sure firefighters can see you when they come in.
- If you do find yourself trapped inside your home during a fire, stay inside and away from outside walls. Close doors, but leave them unlocked.
- Do your best to remain calm.
IF YOUR CLOTHES CATCH ON FIRE
- STOP, DROP and ROLL.
- First, stop where you are. It is very scary, but running when your clothes are on fire will not help.
- Second, drop to the ground. Third, roll over and over until the flames go out. Call out for help while you roll on the ground. Someone will come to help put out the fire.
If you are Caught in the Open
- The best temporary shelter is in a sparse fuel area. On a steep mountainside, the back side is safer. Avoid canyons, natural "chimneys" and saddles.
- If a road is nearby, lie face down along the road cut or in the ditch on the uphill side. Cover yourself with anything that will shield you from the its heat.
- If hiking in the back country, seek a depression with sparse fuel. Clear fuel away from the area while it is approaching and then lie face down in the depression and cover yourself. Stay down until after it passes!
- If you are with burn victims, or are a burn victim yourself, call 9.1.1; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
- If you detect heat or smoke when entering a damaged building, leave immediately.
- If you are a tenant, contact the landlord.
- If you have a safe or strong box, do not try to open it. It can hold intense heat for several hours. If the door is opened before the box has cooled, the contents could burst into flames.
- If you must leave your home because a building inspector says the building is unsafe, ask someone you trust to watch your property during your absence.
If you have experienced the tragedy of a house fire here is a link to
Personal Disaster Recovery Tips