OCTOBER IS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH - Be Prepared!
Preventing a fire can mean the difference between life & death or safety & devestation.
Cooking is the most common causes of house fires. Never leave cookware on the stove unattended. It can take just moments for hot oil or grease to flare up, and a pan of forgotten food can burn and flame. Baking soda can be used to put out a small kitchen fire if caught right away. Always keep a package close at hand for ready use. Avoid wearing clothing with very long or loose sleeves while cooking as they can easily catch fire if they make contact with an open flame or hot burner. Keep towels and flammable pot holders away from the stove.
Keep your electrical cords and applilances in good repair. Damaged wires or sockets should be replaced right away. Don’t overload electrical outlets. Use power strips only when necessary and make sure they are properly rated. Electronics and small appliances should be unplugged when not in use to avoid potential problems.
Keep the dryer vent hose free of lint and other buildup. Your dryer heat can easily spark a fire. Check and clean the hose at least once a year for best results. Depending on how and where the hose is installed, the process can be as simple as using your vacuum cleaner to remove buildup. Bonus: the dryer will also run more efficiently with a clean hose. Never leave the house while the dryer is running.
Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible to the kitchen and laundry areas. Make sure all extinguishers are labeled for use on the three common types of fires – grease, paper/wood, and electrical. Using the wrong type of extinguisher on a particular fire can make the situation worse and can even be life-threatening. NEVER use WATER on an electrical fire!
Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and in all outside sleeping areas. Change the batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year; consider using the transition from Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to do this task. Hard wired smoke alarm systems should be inspected according to the installer’s or manufacturer’s instructions.
Practice a family escape plan. Make sure each family member knows how to quickly get out of the house to safety in the event of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having two ways out of the house, in case smoke or flames make one of the exit routes impossible to use. Smoke can fill a house within minutes, making it difficult or even impossible to see the way out. With preventive measures you can lower the chances of a fire. Careful planning can help you and your family survive if the worst happens.