The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Fire Safety to discuss as a family


October 9, 2019

Although Chili Feed is about celebrating local heroes and is the annual fund raiser it is also when the firefighters visit the schools and talk to the students about fire safety. In part, it’s something all families should discuss. Here is a starting place for families to talk about fire safety. I found this list as I researched the topic on line. I have a friend who lost their home in a fire that started at night. The entire house was lost. After talking to him I felt it was important we visit the topic of fire safety.

Talk to the children and teach them so they know when to call 911

Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Purchase smoke detectors labeled by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM). Place smoke detectors near bedrooms, and on every floor. Test the batteries weekly. Don’t place them near air vents

Replace worn cords and don’t run cords under rugs. Don’t overload outlets.

Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them. Don’t use an extension cord on space heaters. Unplug heaters when you are not using them. Keep heaters a safe distance from furniture and curtains. Do not dry your clothes, gloves, or other items on the heater.

Make sure your family has an escape plan. Practice the escape plan every six months and never go back into a burning building. Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes. Test windows and doors—do they open easy enough? Are they wide and tall enough? Choose a safe meeting place outside the house. Practice alerting other members. It is a good idea to keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.

Conduct a family meeting and discuss the following topics: Always sleep with the bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape. Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm. Yelling, pounding on walls, whistles, etc. practice yelling “FIRE!” In a fire, time is critical. Don’t waste time getting dressed, don’t search for pets or valuables. Just get out! Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or gases may be enough to kill. Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire most likely will make it difficult to see. Practice staying low to the ground when escaping. Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way. Learn to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if clothes catch fire.

Post emergency numbers near telephones.

Be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out and place the call to fire authorities from a safe location outside the home.

Smokers need to be extra careful never smoke in bed or when you are sleepy. Carelessly discarded cigarettes are a leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.

Be careful cooking, keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so they do not over-hang the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner.

Matches and lighters are dangerous in the hands of a child, matches and lighters can be deadly! Store them where kids can’t reach them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are “tools” and should only be used by adults.

Use electricity safely. If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse.

Cool a burn. If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound under cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately!

Be careful of Halogen Lights. If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home or office.


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