2. All Around

Fire Safety: Planning Saves Lives

Protecting your home against fire involves planning. Here are some precautions you can take to help you protect you and your family.

  • Never leave small children alone in the home, even for a minute.
  • Install smoke alarms in furnace and sleeping areas. Check batteries once a month. It is best to use alarms with long-life batteries, but if these are not available, change the batteries at least yearly.
  • Plan several escape routes from each room in the house. Plan a place to meet right after leaving the house.
  • Conduct home fire drills so everyone knows how to get out in an emergency.
  • Do not smoke in bed.
  • Dispose of cigarette butts, matches, and ashes with care.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Be sure your gas water heater is off the ground. Spilled flammable liquids will be ignited by the pilot light.
  • When using candles, place them on a sturdy surface out of reach of children. Never leave a candle burning unattended.
  • Place a barrier around open flames.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing near a stove, fireplace, or open space heater.
  • Have your heating system checked and cleaned yearly.
  • Check electric appliances and cords regularly for wear or loose connections.
  • Use only 15-ampere fuses for lighting circuits. Never use a substitute for a fuse.
  • Place fire extinguishers around the home where the risk of fire is greatest—in the kitchen and furnace room and near the fireplace.

In case of fire

  • Get everyone outside right away. Go to your planned meeting place.
  • Do not stop to dress or put out the fire. (Most deaths occur from suffocation due to hot fumes and smoke, not from direct burning.)
  • Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house or mobile phone.

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