Fire Prevention & Safety Tips
Fire Escape Plan
- Have a plan of escape with two ways out of each room in your home.
- Make sure windows can be opened quickly and easily from inside by all members of your household.
- If you see smoke, try another way out. If you cannot avoid the smoke, crawl on your hands and knees.
- Do not stop or go back for possessions.
- Pick a meeting place outside, well away from the building and do a head count.
- Once outside, stay outside.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Have at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and in each bedroom.
- Test alarms every month.
- Change batteries every year.
- Make sure all members of the household know the sound of the alarms and how to react.
Kitchen Fire Safety
- Turn the handles of pots and pans away from the front of the stove.
- Wear close-fitting clothing and tie long hair back when cooking.
- Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking when potentially impaired.
- Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
Exterior Fire Safety
- Ensure your house number is visible from the street with at least 3 inch high reflective numbers on both sides of your mailbox.
- Make your driveway accessible for emergency vehicles.
- Use grills well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Dispose of hot coals and ashes properly: douse with plenty of water and place in a non-flammable container such as a metal bucket.
Electrical Fire Safety
- Refrain from extension cords and outlet adapters.
- If you must use extension cords, only use the kind with built-in circuit breakers and do not tack them to walls or run them through doorways or under rugs.
- Check appliances regularly for loose or frayed cords.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use.
There are five different types of extinguishing agents:
- Class A - ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
- Class B - flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints.
- Class C - appliance, tools or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
- Class D - flammable metals (often specific for the type of metal in question).
- Class K - vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances.
There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers that can be used on two or more of the above type fires, such as "B-C" or "A-B-C." Call 911 immediately!
Only use a fire extinguisher if:
- You are physically capable of properly operating a fire extinguisher.
- You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
- The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
- You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
- You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
- Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
- Follow the fire extinguisher manufacturer's maintenance schedule.
- Check pressure gauges and make sure hoses and nozzles are free of debris.
- Remove any oil or grease that might accumulate on the exterior and check for damage such as dents or rust.
- Shake dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from settling or packing.
- Pressure test (hydrostatic test) the extinguisher according to the manufacturer's schedule to ensure the cylinder is still safe.
- Immediately replace the extinguisher if it needs recharging or is damaged.