Family Fire Safety
- Do your kids know what to do in the event of a fire? Do they know who to call or what to say? How much have you taught them
about fire safety? According to the United States Fire Administration, more than 80 percent of fire deaths occur in residences
and cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries! To keep your family protected, it is the responsibility
of every member of the family to know what to do in the event of a fire.
By teaching children a few essential
safety guidelines, parents can help protect the whole family. Here are a few simple tips to keep you out of danger:
* Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home (see manufacturers’ directions for proper placement) and
remember to change the batteries twice a year.
* Practice a family fire drill monthly. Explain the importance
of getting out of a burning house safely. Instruct children to take nothing with them – no toys, etc. Plan two escape
routes to the outside from each room.
* Practice dialing 911 with young children. Rehearse what they should say
in an emergency. Remember if there is a big fire going out of control, leave the house immediately, dial 911 and do not go
back into the house for anything.
* If hair or clothing catch fire Stop, Drop and Roll! to put out the flames.
* Have help in the kitchen. A great aid in the initial handling of small kitchen and electrical fires is probably
already in your cabinet -- Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.
For initial handling of small kitchen or electrical
fires, quickly turn off gas or electricity while standing back and tossing handfuls of the baking soda at base of flames.
If the fire continues to burn, leave the house immediately and dial 911. Designate a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda specifically
as the family’s “Fire Safety Soda” and always keep it handy in the kitchen.
For treating minor
burns: Apply cold water and ice immediately. Apply a soothing baking soda paste (3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part cold water)
to the burned area and cover with a cool damp cloth. If the burn is serious (more than a superficial skin burn), call your
doctor or 911.
It is never too soon to teach your family how to be safe. Taking a few small preventative measures
now is certainly a lot easier than dealing with the damaging effects of a fire in your home.
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Courtesy of ARA Content
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A home fire occurs every 86 seconds
(source: National Fire Protection Association 2000 Survey)
85% of fire deaths occur in the home
(source: National Fire Protection Association 2000 Survey)
9 people die in home fires every 24 hours
(source: National Fire Protection Association 2000 United States Fire Loss)
A fire injury occurs in the home every 31 minutes
(source: National Fire Protection Association 2000 United
States Fire Loss)
(ARA) - According to the National Fire Protection
Association, 2,670 people were killed in home fires in 2002. That is a frightening statistic, but the good news is there are
steps you can take to make sure your home is not at risk for a fire, as well as ways to plan for the worst case scenario.
Most of the causes of home fires are within your control. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States.
Cooking fires are often the result of unattended cooking and human error, rather than mechanical failure of stoves or ovens.
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Eliminating smoking in your home takes care of that risk factor. If
you must smoke, never smoke in bed. Heating is the third leading cause of residential fires, mostly due to lack of maintenance.
Aside from addressing maintenance and common sense issues, the simplest step you can take for fire safety is to make sure
you have working smoke detectors in your home. Approximately half of home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms.
The majority of fatal home fires happen at night, when people are sleeping. “Contrary to popular belief, the smell of
smoke may not wake a sleeping person,” notes Jeff Sheldon, president of Bold Industries, a company that manufactures
and distributes a variety of home fire safety products. Fire alarms alert you to a fire, giving you time to escape. But once
the fire alarm sounds, chaos erupts --you’re awake, but now what do you do?
us to the importance of having a formal fire escape plan in place for your family. “When a fire occurs, there’s
no time to stop and decide what to do. Your response and your family’s response need to be automatic and immediate,”
Sheldon emphasizes. Fire can grow and spread through your home in a matter of minutes. It's important that you be prepared
to react as soon as the smoke alarm sounds. The only way to do that is to have a plan and to practice it. You should have
a plan in place for your main residence, vacation home, or any other dwelling where your family spends time.
Statistics show that only 25 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Why not take
an hour tonight to call a family meeting and get the process going? Here’s a step-by-step guide to putting a customized
plan in place for your family:
* Get the whole family involved in planning escape routes. You should
have at least two ways out of each room. Since this may include windows, make sure everyone in the family can unlock and open
windows in the house, and be sure none of these windows are painted or nailed shut. You’ll also want to have escape
ladders in each room with an upstairs window as an escape route.
* Teach family members to test doors before opening
them in event of a fire. If the door is hot to the touch, use another escape route; if the door is cool, open it with caution.
* Make sure that everyone understands the plan and recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm. Start your plan with a drawing
of each level of your home, using an actual floor plan, if possible. Mark existing exits, and make sure there are exit strategies
for both sides of stairwells, since stairwells can act like a furnace.
* When the alarm sounds, leave immediately; don’t
stop for anything. This includes possessions.
* Agree on a meeting place outside where everyone will gather after
they escape. Take a headcount to make sure everyone is accounted for, and only then designate one person to go for help.
* Make sure everyone knows that once they’re out, they should stay out.
* Practice your plan at
least twice a year.
* Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family’s fire escape
plan. When visiting other people’s home ask about their plan.
In addition to working smoke detectors, there are
a few other items that you should have in your home in case of a fire. Fire extinguishers and escape ladders can provide added
Place fire extinguishers on each floor of your home. Make sure you have one in the kitchen
and in the garage. Make sure to use an all-purpose extinguisher in the kitchen so it can be used on grease and electrical
An emergency escape ladder provides a safe means of getting out of your home when all other
exits are unavailable. Bold Industries recommends The QuickEscape Emergency Escape Ladder, which is UL approved, tested to
support over 1,000 pounds and designed to fit walls up to 10 inches thick. “This is the strongest emergency ladder on
the market,” says Sheldon. The 12-foot ladder is designed for windows up to two stories off the ground.
It takes just seconds to get the ladder ready to use: Simply place the ladder hooks over the window sill and climb down the
ladder to safety. Bold Industries also carries escape ladders that will reach the third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors.
Organizing an escape plan and putting in place the proper tools you’ll need in event of a fire doesn’t take very
much time, and it may save your life -- and the lives of your family members. A little advance planning and practice can pay
off in a safe escape .
For more information on emergency escape ladders, visit www.emergencyladders.com
Courtesy of ARA Content
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