Being safe from fire in the home is no easy job. It takes a conscious effort on the part of all members of the family, from the youngest to the oldest. To help your family work at fire safety in the home, hre are ten tips for home fire safety.
1. Install and maintain smoke detectors
Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your home. This includes the basement. There should be one outside each sleeping area. In apartment buildings, there should be a smoke detector in each apartment. Install, test, and maintain smoke detectors according to the manufacturer’s directions. Replace the dead batteries immediately. The detector will usually emit short beeps when batteries begin to lose power. Keep the face of the detector clean and free of dust and cobwebs.
2. Practice EDITH—Exit Drills in the Home
Design an escape plan for the family. Make sure special provisions are made for infants, elderly, and handicapped persons. Always have two ways out of any room, including basements, in case smoke or flames make one way unusable. Make sure that everyone knows where to go when they get out of the house. Pick a place for everyone to meet. Never go back into a building that is on fire. In an apartment building, use only the stairs as an exit, never an elevator.
3. A match is a tool
Matches and lighters are tools for adults. Keep them where children cannot reach them. Teach children to give matches and lighters to adults.
4. Stop, Drop, and Roll
If your clothes should ever catch on fire, stop wherever you are, drop to the floor or ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Cover your face with your hands to protect the face. Practice this with young children regularly.
5. Crawl low in smoke
Smoke is hot from the fire. This will make it rise to the highest part of your house, around the ceiling. That is why you crawl low in smoke. The cleanest air is near the floor.
6. Cool a burn
If someone gets burned, put cool water on the burned skin immediately. Call 911 and seek medical help if a blister forms or if the burn is severe.
7. Smokers need watchers
Make sure smokers extinguish cigarettes in large, deep ashtrays. Empty the ashtrays into the toilet. Check under the sofa and chair cushions for cigarette butts before going to bed. Never smoke in bed.
8. Space heaters need space
Keep portable space heaters at least 36 inches away from things that burn—paper, bedding, clothing, curtains, etc. Keep small children away from the heaters. Turn the heaters off when going to bed or when leaving the home.
9. Be careful when cooking
Always pay complete attention when cooking at the stove. Keep your children out of the way. If grease catches fire, place a lid over the pan to smother the fire; turn off the burner. Never throw water or anything else onto a grease fire. Make sure pot handles are turned inward so that they can’t be accidentally tipped over.
10. Practice safety with electricity
If an appliance gives off smoke or a burning odor, unplug it immediately and have it checked for repairs. Check the cords on appliances; have cords replaced if they are frayed or broken. Do not place extension cords under rugs or in other places where they may be stepped on and broken. If you replace a blown fuse, make sure the new fuse is of the same amperage.