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Fire Safety in the Home
06/24/13

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 18,300 are injured. More fire victims die from smoke than flames because smoke can overwhelm a child or adult in minutes.  Protect your family.

Plan and practice two escape routes out of the building and every room, starting with bedrooms.
If one of the exits is blocked by fire or smoke, you and your family will need a second way out. This might be through a window. If you do not have another way out, find another place to sleep.

Discuss the plan with your family.
Everyone needs to know the plan by heart and know his/her role in case of a fire.

Practice escapes at night.  That’s when most deadly fires occur.
It is more difficult at night to know where the fire started and to see your way out of the house.

Designate an outside meeting place.
Choose a place not too far away. It could be the mailbox, streetlight out front, or the old oak tree – as long as everyone knows where the meeting place is. That way you will be sure everyone got out safely. Tell your child to stay at the meeting place even if he/she is the first one there.

Decide who will take charge of each child.
If there is more than one adult and more than one child in the home, this will make your escape faster and less frantic.

Draw a picture of the inside of your home.
Then draw your escape routes – all of them, starting with bedrooms.

Feel the door.
Use the back of your hand to feel the top, sides, and knob of the door. Do not open the door if it is hot. Teach children to crawl under smoke and to touch doors before opening them. 

Teach children to "stop, drop & roll.”
It is the fastest way to put out clothing or hair that is on fire and helps avoid panic.

Call the fire department AFTER leaving the building.
Designate one person to go to a neighbor’s house to call the fire department.

Never re-enter a burning building.
If someone is missing, tell the firefighters. They can perform rescues safely.

Show children who live in high-rise buildings the shortest route to a safe exit. 
Check periodically to make sure fire exits are not blocked. Learn your building evacuation plan. Learn the sound of your building’s fire alarm. Report any problems to the building’s management as soon as you can.

Do not use the elevator.
The building may lose power. You will be stuck in the elevator with no escape.

Install detectors in all sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
Smoke detectors save lives. Test detectors once a month and clean the detector regularly.  Dirt can lead to malfunction.

Replace the batteries in your detectors at least once a year.
Many people use the change from and to Daylight Savings Time as a time to replace batteries.

Know what the smoke detector alarm sounds like and what to do when it goes off.
There should be no confusion about the sound. You must act immediately if the detector is activated.

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