Do you have a safe home for you and your family? Every year nearly 4,000 Americans die in home fires and more than 25,000 are injured. Here are a few fire prevention safety tips;
- Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach and out of sight of children!
- Smoking is dangerous! No one should ever smoke in bed. Make sure that cigarettes/cigars are extinguished properly before dumping ashes.
- Avoid grease build-up in the kitchen and on appliances. Cooking fires are common. Don’t leave food cooking on stove-tops unattended.
- If a fire should occur, suffocate it with a pot/pan lid or a cookie sheet, or close the oven door.
- Dispose of materials from fireplaces and grills in non-flammable containers.
- Make sure your electrical system is not being over-taxed.
- Inspect wires. If you find any worn or exposed wiring from appliances, discontinue their use immediately!
- Space heaters can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure yours will automatically shut off if tipped over. Consult the operating instructions to make sure you are using space heaters, gas fire places, and other heat sources as intended by the manufacturer. Keep all flammable materials away from heat sources! If there are young children in the house, make sure space heaters and hot water heaters are inaccessible.
- Chimney fires are common. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
- Keep bedroom doors shut while sleeping. If you think there is a fire, feel the door and knob for heat before opening.
- Young children should know their street address and last name (and, of course, how to dial 911).
- If you should catch fire stop, drop, roll and cover your face.
- Crawl low in smoke to be in good air.
- Never hide and never be afraid of firefighters.
- Only dial 911 in case of emergencies.
Do you have a fire extinguisher available at your home ? It is recommended that you have at least one fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure it is properly charged and the bottle itself has been tested and deemed safe (Look for an inspection sticker or tag).
There are many kinds of fire extinguishers, and they are given a letter, or combination of letters based on the types of fires they are designed to put out. For simplicity sake, we will list the 4 most common.
A – Ordinary combustibles, easy way to remember it: usable on a fire that produces Ash (paper, wood, etc)
B – Flammable liquids, easy way to remember it: usable on a fire if what’s burning is stored in a Barrel(oil, gasoline, etc)
C – Electrical components, easy way to remember it: usable on a fire that involves Circuits.
D – Combustible Metals, commonly found in laboratories, can be used on metals like magnesium, titanium and potassium.
The two most common types of extinguisher to find in a personal residence are either an ABC extinguisher, or a BC extinguisher.
An ABC extinguisher is a dry chemical extinguisher that can be used on type A, B and C fires. One downside to this is that it will leave a chemical residue, which can be difficult to clean up, and can cause harm to electronics.
A BC extinguisher is a CO2 extinguisher. It can be used on type B and C fires, but may have difficulty extinguishing a type A fire.
It is important to check what kind of extinguisher you have and understand the types of fires it can be used for.