Fire Safety Tips
Make Your Home Fire Safe
- Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
- If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas, too.
- Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
- Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
- Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
- Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.
- Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
Plan Your Escape Routes
- Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
- Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor's home.
- If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
- If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
- If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.
Fire is Fast!
There is little time!
In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. Most fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.
Fire is Hot!
Heat is more threatening than flames.
A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.
Fire is Dark!
Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black.
Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.
Fire is Deadly!
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do.
Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.
Did You Know There are 4 Types of Fires?
How would you know what kind of extinguisher you should use?
- Class A fires are ordinary materials like burning paper, lumber, cardboard, plastics etc.
- Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, and common solvents.
- Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, switches, panel boxes, power tools, hot plates, etc.. Water is a particularly dangerous extinguishing medium for class C fires because of the risk of electrical shock.
- Class D fires involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. These materials burn at high temperatures and will react violently with water, air, and/or other chemicals.