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Fire Safety


Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors warn you of a fire in time for you to escape. Install them on each level of your home and outside of each sleeping area. Test them every month, following the manufacturer's directions. Replace batteries twice a year, or when ever a detector chirps to signal that its battery is low. Don't ever borrow detector batteries for other use - a disabled smoke detector can't save your life! For complete home protection, consider installing automatic fire sprinklers in addition to smoke detectors.

Plan and Practice to Escape

If fire breaks out in your home, you have to get out fast! With your family, plan two ways out of every room. Fire escape routes must not use elevators, which might take you right to the fire. Choose a meeting place outside where everyone will gather. Once you are out, stay out! At least twice a year, have the whole family practice the escape plan.

Smokers Need Watchers

Carelessly discarded cigarettes are the leading cause of fire deaths in North America. Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers and put water on butts before discarding them. Before going to bed or leaving home, check under and around sofa cushions for smoldering cigarettes.

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Be Careful While Cooking

Never leave cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so the pots can't be knocked or pulled over. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then turn off the burner. Never put foil or other metals in a microwave oven.

Space Heaters Need Space

Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.

Matches and Lighters are Tools

In the hands of a child, matches or lighters are deadly. Use child-resistant lighters, and store all matches and lighters up high where kids can't reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach your children from the start that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for kids. If children find matches or lighters, they should tell an adult immediately.

Cool a Burn

If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately. Do not rub with butter or oil.

Use Electricity Safely

If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace any electrical cord that is cracked or frayed. Don't overload extension cords or run them under rugs. Don't tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size.

Crawl Low Under Smoke

Smoke is dangerous! If you encounter smoke, use an alternate escape route. If you must exit through smoke, the cleanest air will be 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) above the floor. Crawl on your hands and knees to the nearest safe exit.

Stop, Drop and Roll

Everyone should know this rule: If your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with you hands to protect your face and lungs, and roll over and over to smother the flames.

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