1. If a fire starts in your home and you are awake, the first thing you should do is alert everyone else in the house. If you are sleeping and wake to a fire, roll out of bed and crawl across the floor to the bedroom door. This is the Stay Low and Go method. After that, follow these tips to keep yourself safe:
- Get out and stay out. Never go back into a burning building.
- Call 911 from a neighbor's house or from your cell phone.
- Close as many doors between the fire and the rest of the house as possible.
- Sleep with bedroom doors shut.
- Feel the door with the back of your hand to detect fire.
- Know two ways out of every room in your home or work site.
- Have a designated meeting spot and go there.
- Stop, Drop, and Roll if your clothes catch on fire.
- Cover your face with your hands.
Question 1: If you are awake and discover a fire,the first thing you should do is alert everyone else in the house.
2. In 2006, 3,245 Americans were killed and another 16,400 were injured in fires. 81% of fire deaths occurred in residences. Smoke is responsible for three out of four deaths. Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas. They should be tested at least monthly. Smoke detectors should be kept dust-free and batteries should be replaced at least yearly. If you have a smoke detector directly wired into your electrical system, be sure that the signal light is blinking to show that it is active.
Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the kitchen, garage and workshop and should be ABC-type extinguishers for extinquishing all types of fires. You should learn how to use your fire extinguisher before there is an emergency. Fire extinguishers should be used on small fires only. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call 911 from another location.
Question 2: Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of a house and outside of sleeping areas.
3. It is best to be prepared. Prepare a floor plan of your home showing at least two ways out of each room. Sleep with your bedroom door closed. In the event of fire, it helps to hold back heat and smoke. But if a door feels hot, do not open it. Escape through another door or window. Agree on a fixed location out-of-doors where family members are to gather for a head count. Stay together away from the fire. Call 911 from another location. Make certain that no one goes back inside the burning building. Check corridors and stairways to make sure they are free of obstructions and combustibles. To help cut down on the need for an emergency exit in the first place, clear all unnecessary items from the attic, basement, garage, and closets.
Question 3: It is best to sleep with your bedroom door open so you can smell the smoke if a fire breaks out.
4. If you have a fireplace, use a fire place screen to prevent sparks from flying. Do not store newspapers, kindling or matches near the fireplace or have an exposed rug or wooden floor right in front of the fireplace. You should have your chimney inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season and cleaned to remove build-up. You should install a chimney spark arrested to prevent roof fires. When lighting a gas fireplace, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.
Careless smoking may also cause fires. You should never smoke in bed or if you are extremely tired. You should use large, deep ashtrays and empty them frequently. Never dump an ashtray into the trash without wetting the butts and ashes first.
Question 4: Newspaper and kindling should not be stored near your fireplace.
5. Used improperly, a space heater can be the most dangerous appliance in your house. Install and maintain heating equipment correctly. Have your furnace inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season. Do not store newspapers, rags, or other combustible materials near a furnace, hot water heater, space heater, etc. Do not leave space heaters operating when you are not in the room. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that might burn, including the wall. Do not use extension cords with electrical space heaters. The high amount of current they require could melt the cord and start a fire. When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas. Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.
Question 5: A space heater can be considered the most dangerous appliance in your house if it used improperly.
6. Under some circumstances, dangerous heat can build up in clothes dryers. You should never leave home with the clothes dryer running. Dryers must be vented to the outside, not into a wall or attic. You should clean the lint screen frequently to keep the airway clear. You should never put in synthetic fabrics, plastic, rubber, or foam because they retain heat.
Question 6: It would not be recommended to put rubber-soled tennis shoes in your clothes dryer because they retain heat.
7. Electricity can become deadly. It is better not to use extension cords. If you must use one, make sure that it is not frayed or worn. Do not run it under a rug or twist it around a nail or hook. Never overload a socket. The use of outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs is strongly discouraged. Do not use light bulb wattage that is too high for the fixture. Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, loose wires, or loose lighting fixtures. Allow air space around the TV, stereo and lamps to prevent overheating. If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows frequently, cut down on the number of appliances on that line. Be sure all electrical equipment bears the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label. In many older homes, the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with modern appliances. Overloaded electrical systems invite fire. Watch for these overload signals: dimming lights or fuses blowing frequently. Call a qualified electrician to get help.
Question 7: You should make sure that extension cords are run under rugs to prevent tripping.
8. Careless cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. Never leave cooking unattended. It is wise to have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Keep it 10 feet away from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen. Never pour water on a grease fire. Turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid, or close the oven door. Keep pot handles on the stove pointing to the back, and always watch young children in the kitchen. Do not store items on the stovetop because they could catch fire. Keep kitchen appliances clean and in good condition. Turn them off and disconnect them when not in use. Do not overload kitchen electrical outlets or use appliances with frayed or cracked wires. Wear tight-fitting clothing when you cook to prevent loose clothing from catching fire. Be sure your stove is not located under a window where curtains are hanging. Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly, and wipe up spilled grease as soon as the stove surface is cool. Operate your microwave only when there is food in it.
Question 8: The number one cause of residential fires is careless cooking.
9. One-fourth of all fire-deaths of children are from fires started by children. Make sure that lighters and matches are kept out of the reach of children. Never leave children unattended with fire or space heaters. Children are naturally curious about fire. So keep an eye on them. But if a child repeatedly plays with fire or seems to have a morbid fascination with fire, seek professional help at once. If youngsters live with you or stay overnight occasionally, be sure that they know how to escape from every room and are part of your emergency exit plan.
Question 9: Never leave children unattended around a space heater.
10. Gasoline and all flammable liquids should be kept only in approved safety containers, and the containers should be kept outside the house and garage in a separate storage shed. You should add gasoline to lawn equipment and snow throwers outside, away from enclosed areas and any source of sparks or heat. You should start the equipment 10 feet from where you filled it with fuel. Do not fill a hot lawn mower, snow thrower, or other motor. Let it cool first. Never clean floors or do other general cleaning with gasoline or flammable liquids.
Question 10: While putting gasoline in a lawn mower, make sure that you are secured safely inside a garage or shed.
11. Progress Industries conducts fire drills at all 24 hours sites and main building locations monthly. Fire extinguishers are provided in all 24-hour sites, HCBS, CSALA, ICF-ID sites, and main buildings. Flammable liquids are stored in approved containers and cabinets marked "flammable". Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are checked monthly during drills. Instruction in the proper use of fire extinguishers and proper evacuation procedures is provided to all employees. The location of fire-fighting equipment in the main building and offices will be marked with a large bright red square, arrow, or bar. Paint and chemical cabinets are inspected yearly. Instructions for evacuating the facility are posted in a conspicuous place where all can see and read. Use of flammable liquids for cleaning purposes is prohibited.
Question 11: Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors should be checked every month during regular fire drills.