Big or small, treat all forms of fire with respect.

Did you know that smoke is responsible for three out of four fire-related deaths? Knowing what to expect and preparing for a fire before it happens can save your life. So plan ahead. Develop a fire safety plan with your family that includes a review of fire hazards, an escape plan, installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and teaching your children about fire safety. By following these fire safety strategies you might just save lives.

Safety tips, advice, and resources found in this section have been recommended by a number of reputable organizations devoted to fire safety. You will find links to these and other safety-related organizations throughout this site.

 


 
 Fire Safety
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SMOKE DETECTORS  
  1. Make the whole house safe. Put smoke detectors on every floor and outside of sleeping areas.
  2. Maintain your equipment. Make sure detectors are dust free. Replace batteries once a year, or sooner.
  3. Testing, testing…. Test your detectors at least once a month.
  4. Be sure they're working. If your detectors are directly wired into your electrical system, make sure the signal lights are blinking. This lets you know that the alarm is active.
  5. Know what's happening. Smoke detectors that are monitored by an accredited emergency response station can be installed and will notify you in case of emergency wherever you are.
  6. Fires don't discriminate. Neither does safety. There are detectors available for people with impaired hearing.
 

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS  

  1. An extinguisher in hand is worth two fire-trucks coming. A trusty extinguisher is your best bet against a small fire becoming a big one.
  2. Cover your bases. Purchase an "ABC" type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires.
  3. Mount them and let people know where they are. Fire extinguishers should be put in the kitchen, bedroom, garage, and workshop.
  4. Check the pedigree. Your fire extinguishers should display the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or the Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (ULC) label.
  5. Learn how to use it before you need it! Older children should also be taught how to operate fire extinguishers. Keep fire extinguishers away from young children.
  6. Use only on small fires. If there is a large fire, get out of the area immediately and call 911 from another location.

HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN AND BE PREPARED  

  1. POST EMERGENCY NUMBERS CLOSE TO EACH PHONE IN YOUR HOME!
  2. Teach your children well. Make sure they know how to dial 911.
  3. Make sure you're ready for anything. Check the batteries in your phone; many phones use a battery to retain memory when power is lost.
  4. Practice makes perfect. Create a floor plan of your home showing two ways out of each room. There should be a way to get out of each bedroom without opening the door. Have fire drills regularly. Practice your escape at different times of the year. You can download a complimentary escape planner here.
  5. Privacy can also mean added safety. Sleeping with your bedroom door closed can give you extra time in case of a fire.
  6. Give yourself a way out. Window escape ladders are available through many stores.
  7. Location, location…. Agree on a meeting place a safe distance from your home where your family can gather for a head count.
  8. Clear the way. Make sure stairways, hallways and all escape routes are free of obstructions and combustibles.

IN CASE OF FIRE  

  1. Get out fast. Don't waste time collecting possessions after a fire starts.
  2. Get out alive. Wake or tell all occupants and leave the building.
  3. Never open doors without checking for heat. Test them with your hands. If they feel warm, fire may be on the other side. If so, leave closed and find another way out.
  4. Never go back into a burning building. Stay together away from the fire. Call 911 from another location.
  5. Stay down, cover your mouth, crawl to safety. If trapped inside a burning building, stay close to the floor and cover your mouth with a cloth to conserve breath.
  6. Don't give fire a place to go. Keep all doors and windows closed except for escape purposes.
 

FIREPLACE   

  1. Respect it. You're deliberately bringing fire into your home.
  2. Screen it. Use a screen to prevent sparks from flying out.
  3. Keep combustibles away. Don't have newspapers, kindling, matches, rugs, or wooden floor near a burning fireplace.
  4. Inspect it. Have a professional inspect your chimney prior to every heating season.
  5. Clean it. Clean your fireplace regularly to remove creosote build-up.
  6. Stop it. Prevent roof fires by installing a chimney spark arrester.
  7. Do it right. If you have a gas fireplace, strike a match first, then turn on the gas.
 

FURNACE/SPACE HEATERS  

  1. Be careful. Space heaters can be extremely dangerous.
  2. Maintain well. Have your furnace inspected before every heating season.
  3. Keep potential fuel away. Don't store newspapers, rags, or other combustible materials near a furnace, hot water heater or space heater.
  4. Turn it off. Don't leave space heaters operating when you're not in the room.
  5. Use the three feet rule. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything, including the wall.
  6. Extension cords and space heaters don't mix. Never use extension cords with space heaters.
  7. Do it right. When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
  8. Never, ever. Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.

CLOTHES DRYER  

  1. Heat dries. It can also burn. Be aware that dangerous heat can build up in your dryer.
  2. Be home. Never leave the clothes dryer running when your not at home.
  3. Vent it out. Dryers must be vented outside, no where else.
  4. Clean the screen. A clean lint screen can mean the difference between clean clothes and completely cleaned out by fire.
  5. Keep these out: synthetic fabrics, plastic, rubber, or foam; they retain heat.

ELECTRICAL HAZARDS  
Electricity entertains us, empowers us, and light up our lives. It can also be harmful.

  1. Extension cords are dangerous. If you feel you must use one, make sure it is not frayed or worn. Never run it under a rug or twist it around a nail or hook.
  2. Never overload a socket. Outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs are discouraged. Use outlet covers on all outlets to prevent shock hazards.
  3. Use the proper wattage. Read the label inside each fixture that tells the maximum wattage.
  4. Inspect your outlets Check for loose wall receptacles, loose wires, or loose lighting fixtures.
  5. Give them some breathing room. Allow air space around the TV to prevent overheating. The same goes for radios, stereos and hot lamps.
  6. Give it a break. If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows frequently, cut down on the number of appliances on that line.
  7. Never overload your system. Watch for these overload signals: dimming lights when an appliance goes on, a shrinking TV picture, slow heating appliances, or fuses blowing frequently. Call a qualified electrician to get expert help.
 

KITCHEN  

  1. Never leave cooking unattended. Careless cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. Keep a fire extinguisher 10 feet away from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen.
  2. Never pour water on a grease fire. Turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid, or close the oven door.
  3. Watch your kids in the kitchen. Keep pot handles on the stove pointing to the back.
  4. Don't keep stuff on the stove. They could catch fire.
  5. Keep your appliances clean. Turn them off and disconnect them when not in use.
  6. Don't overload outlets. And don't use appliances with frayed or cracked wires.
  7. Don't wear loose fitting clothes when you cook. Loose bathrobes, aprons, or sleeves can catch fire.
  8. Clean more than the counters. Make sure the exhaust hood and duct over the stove are cleaned regularly and wipe up spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool.
  9. Operate your microwave only when there is food in it.
 

CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN  

  1. Kids are curious. One-fourth of all fire-related deaths of children is due to fires started by children.
  2. Keep lighters and matches out of the reach. Teach your children the dangers of lighters and matches. Teach them to tell you when they find a lighter or matches.
  3. Keep an eye on them. Never leave children unattended around fire in any form.
  4. Teach them well. Be sure kids in your care know how to escape from every room and are part of your emergency exit plan.

GASOLINE AND OTHER FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS  

  1. Keep the flames contained. Flammable liquids should be stored only in approved safety containers and should be kept outside the house and garage in a separate storage area.
  2. Matches and gas don't mix. Never use flammable liquids near an open flame or sparks.
  3. Gas it up outside. Lawn equipment and snowblowers should be refueled in well ventilated outdoor locations, and away from sparks or heat.
  4. Follow the 10 feet rule. Start equipment 10 feet from where you filled it with fuel.
  5. Cool it first. Don't fill a hot machine of any kind.
  6. Never clean floors with flammable liquids. Use appropriate solvents, and never smoke at the same time.

SMOKING SAFETY   

  1. Quit. The best way to avoid smoking hazards is to stop smoking.
  2. Never smoke in bed. No matter what.
  3. Empty ashtrays. Use large, deep ashtrays, and empty them often.
  4. Wet your butts. Never dump an ashtray into the trash without wetting the ashes first.
  5. Keep your habit away from children. That means burning cigarettes, matches and lighters.

BURN SAFETY   

  1. Turn it down. Keep hot-water heater thermostats below 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 degrees Celsius
  2. Put one of them down. Never carry your child and hot items at the same time
  3. Before you give them a bath…. Test water temperature with the back of your wrist, elbow or a thermometer.
  4. Never carry your child while cooking. Children shouldn't be playing in the kitchen while someone's cooking.
  5. Install anti-scald devices on faucets and spouts. Also, install a bath spout cover.
  6. Put treats safely away. Never store snacks above the stove .
  7. Turn it off! Ensure stove knobs are off. Use knob covers to prevent children from turning the burners on accidentally.
  8. Do it right the first time. Install the proper screen and fire-arresting devices in fireplaces.
  9. Be careful. Furniture sitting outside in the sun can become hot and cause contact burns.
  10. Wrap it up. The toaster cord hanging over the counter edge is not only a burn hazard, but an injury hazard. This applies to any small appliance with an extended cord.
  11. Heat that baby bottle with water. Never use your microwave to heat formula. Microwaves heat from the inside out and you can scald your baby's mouth.
  12. Supervision is worth a pound of cure. The microwave is a special appliance with special needs. Be there when your children use it.
  13. Keep first aid close. Keep a first aid book in your home, as well as a first aid kit. Know burn safety.
  14. You never know when you'll need it. Keep your pediatrician's number close at hand.

Other Fire Safety Sites  

We hope these fire safety tips keep you and your family safe from fire emergencies. Preparing just a little will help you enjoy even more of life.

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