The following are tips on fire safety and prevention:
- Identify any risk factors. It is important to identify the hazards in your area and how to avoid them.
- Know where the fire exits are and identify escape routes.
- Keep matches, lighters and candles away from children.
- Do not leave burning candles unattended and never sleep with candles burning.
- Remove electrical cords from under rugs and from behind radiators. Never nail or staple the cord to walls/molding.
- Do not overload outlets or extension cords.
- Install a smoke detector alarm on every level including the basement.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Replace smoke alarm batteries at least twice a year.
- Replace smoke alarms at least every 10 years.
If there is a fire, follow the following tips on escaping a fire:
- Plan alternative escape route in the case that the normal route is blocked by fire and/or smoke.
- Never use elevators.
- Feel doorway to check for heat.
- Know or plan a meeting place outside so you will know everyone is out safe.
If you are trapped by a fire:
- Get to a room as far from the fire as possible, preferably with a window.
- Close the door to the room you are in to prevent spread of fire.
- Cover your mouth with a wet cloth and stay low.
- Try to block openings where smoke can enter.
- If you cannot get out, call the fire department with specifics of your location.
If you smell smoke or see a fire, leave the area and if possible, call 911 and/or pull the building fire alarm. Once outside, remember to stay outside and do not go back in.
Early notification can make all the difference.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms, food poisoning and other illnesses. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness or headaches.
The National Fire Protection Association suggests the following safety tips to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to provide early warning of accumulating CO. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area. If bedrooms are spaced apart, each area will need a CO alarm.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace alarms according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
- CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and CO alarms.
- Have fuel burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood and coal stoves, space or portable heaters) and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in.
- When using a fireplace open the flue for adequate ventilation.
- Never use your oven or grill to heat your home.