Think Safe Be Safe: Fire Prevention Tips
According to the Home Safety Council’s State of Home Safety in America™ Report, fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional home injury and related deaths. Fire safety and survival begin with everyone in your household being prepared. Follow these safety measures from the Home Safety Council to reduce the chance of fire in your home:
Prevent Fires Caused by Cooking:
- Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.
- Keep things that can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top.
- Before cooking, roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. Loose-fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire.
- Never leave barbecue grills unattended while in use.
- Keep grills at least three feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.
Prevent Fires Caused by Heating:
- Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from things that can burn, such as curtains or stacks of newspaper. Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Have a service person inspect chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves and central furnaces once a year. Have them cleaned when necessary.
- Keep things that can burn away from your fireplace and keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace.
Prevent Fires Caused by Smoking:
- Use “fire-safe” cigarettes and smoke outside.
- Use large, deep ashtrays on sturdy surfaces like a table.
- Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before dumping them in the trash.
Prevent Fires Caused by Candles:
- Never leave burning candles unattended. Do not allow children to keep candles or incense in their rooms.
- Always use stable, candle holders made of material that won’t catch fire, such as metal, glass, etc.
- Blow out candles when adults leave the room.
Prevent Fires Caused by Gasoline and Other Products:
- Store gasoline in a garage or shed in a container approved for gasoline storage.
- Never bring or use gasoline indoors; and use it as a motor fuel only.
- Close the lid on all dangerous products and put them away after using them.
- Store them away from the home and in a safe place with a lock.
- Don’t plug in too many appliances at once.
Keep Your Family Safe At Home
- Make a fire escape plan for your family. Find two exits out of every room. Pick a meeting place outside. Practice makes perfect – hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Put them inside or near every bedroom. Test them monthly to make sure they work. Put in new batteries once a year.
- Know how to put out a small pan fire by sliding a lid over the flames.
- Teach every family member to “Stop, Drop and Roll” if clothes catch fire.
- Consider having a home fire sprinkler system installed in your new home, or when you remodel.
- Learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher.
Reprinted with the permission of the Home Safety Council. © 2008 Home Safety Council All Rights Reserved.
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