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HomeFire Safety

Fires in homes are a serious issue. Often fatal fires are the result of not having a working smoke alarm or carbon monoxide dectector. You can prevent fires through simple steps. Make sure you have a properly working smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm, change the batteries at least once a year. Plan and practice a family escape route. Learn how to use your fire extinguisher and remember if your clothes catch on fire to: Stop, Drop and Roll.

If you are evacuating a burning building don't go through doors whose handles are hot. Leave your house, call for help. Do not go back to help someone else.


Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas produced as a result of incomplete burning of carbon-containing fuels. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen.

 

Your home may contain a wide variety of fuel-burning appliances: furnaces, room or space heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters, and stoves, and grills. Automobiles left running in attached garages, barbecues operated inside the house, improperly vented grills or kerosene heaters, and chimneys or vents that are dirty or plugged may also create unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.


The best defenses against carbon monoxide poisoning are proper installation, use, and maintenance of household cooking and heating equipment, and safe use of vehicles and other gas-powered equipment. Over time, components of fuel-burning appliances can become damaged or deteriorated. You might want to consider having a qualified technician inspect your appliances yearly to ensure their safety.

For maximum protection, consider going a step further and install carbon monoxide detectors inside your home to provide warning of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide accumulation. Household carbon monoxide detectors measure how much carbon monoxide has accumulated in the air, and are designed to sound an alarm before potentially life-threatening levels of carbon monoxide are reached.


Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms save lives and protect against injury and loss

due to fire. The fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms is 51% less than the rate for homes without this protection


BE PREPARED:




A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.


Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke. To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:


For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.  Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately. Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape.



Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice several times a year, at different times of the day.


The plan should include the following: