Fire Safety Tips
- Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors: on each level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test regularly. Replace batteries at least once a year or when it chirps to signal that the batteries are low. Never remove the batteries to use somewhere else.
- Plan and Practice an Escape Route: plan two possible escape routes out of each room. Do not include elevators in your escape route. Choose a meeting place outside where everyone can gather.
- Space Heaters Need Space: Keep portable and space heaters at least three feet from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding or anything else that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you go to sleep or leave your home. Keep children and pets away.
- Smokers Need Watchers: Never smoke in bed or when you’re drowsy. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers and also pour water on the butts before throwing them out. Before going to bed make sure you have extinguished all burning cigarettes.
- Matches are for Adults Only: Store them where children can’t reach them. If children find matches they should tell an adult immediatly.
- Crawl Low Under Smoke: If you encounter smoke using your primary exit, use your alternate route. If you must exit through smoke, stay low to the floor as smoke rises.
By planning ahead, you can do a lot to prevent a fire. But once a fire starts in your home, there are only two things to do: Get Out and Call the Fire Department from a neighbour’s home. Never go back in a burning building. If you think someone is still inside, tell the fire fighters when they arrive.
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Kitchen Fire Safety
- Never Leave Cooking Unattended: Also turn appliances off and unplug as soon as you’ve finished using them. They can overheat, causing a fire, if left on.
- Keep Applicances Clean: Built up grease catches fire easily. Cleaning your appliances, ovens, stoves… regularly avoids this build-up.
- Keep Flammable Objects Away From the Stove: Pot holders, dish towels, loose papers, recipe books, if any of these come too close to a burner, you can start a fire.
- Wear Tight Fitting Sleeves When You Cook: Loose sleeves can catch fire when they dangle near hot burners. Avoid storing stuff over the stove where you would have to reach over the burners for it.
- Heat Oil Slowly: Keep a careful watch when you are cooking with oil. A fire can easily start if the burner is too “high” and it’s left unattended.
- Microwave Burns: Microwave ovens themselves stay cool, but that doesn’t mean the food and dish inside doesn’t get to hot to touch. You should use a pot holder to remove items, the same as an oven. The temperature of the food should be tested before eating as microwaves continue cooking the food for 2 to 3 minutes even after it has been removed.
- Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets: An electrical fire can be caused by plugging too many appliances into the same outlet. Also beware of frayed or cracked cords, they should be replaced immediately!! Prevent shocks by making sure your hands and the floor you’re standing on is dry when attempting to unplug an appliance. If water gets into an eletrical appliance make sure it is serviced before plugging it back in.
- Prevent Burns By Turning Pot Handles In: A pot handle sticking out can be easily knocked over or grabbed by a child, causing the contents to spill and cause serious burns. Turn handles in to avoid accidents.
- Cool a Burn With Running Water run cool water over the area for 5 to 10 minutes. This will prevent continued burning and relieve some of the pain. Never use butter or any other greasy substance as that will continue to burn the skin and cause more damage to be done. If the burn blisters or is charred, see a doctor as soon as possible.
What To Do If A Fire Starts
- Smother a grease fire Never throw water on a cooking fire!!! If a pan containing food catches fire, slide a lid over the pan, then turn the burner off. If a fire starts in the oven, close the oven door and turn it off. If flames do not go out immediately call the Fire Department.
- Close the door on microwave fires: If anything catches fire in you microwave, opening the door will provide oxygen to the fire. Leave the door shut and turn the microwave off.
- Learn the ABCs of fire extinguishers: If you keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, be sure it is a Class ABC extinguisher with a testing laboratory label. Use an extinguisher only if….
- You know you have a class ABC extinguisher, and you already know how to operate it.
- The fire is small and contained in the area where it started.
- The Fire Department is being called.
- You can fight the fire with your back to an exit.
If Clothing Catches Fire: Stop, Drop, and Roll!
Do not run – this only fans the fire. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Cover you face with your hands to protect it, as well as to shield your throat and lungs. If someone elses clothes are on fire push them to the ground and roll them over and over; or smother the flames with a blanket, a rug, or a coat if available.
What To Do If A Fire Starts
- Don’t block the air vents of a microwave oven. It must have a sufficient air flow to operate properly.
- Never store flammable products near a stove or oven. If a fire starts, these can easily ignite or even explode.
- Don’t store items that you use for cooking above the stove – you could be burned reaching for them.
- Keep oven and stove areas free of clutter. Stacks of paper, cookbooks, grocery bags, towels, curtains, wood utensils, pot holders, and garbage baskets can all catch fire in seconds if they come into contact with a flame.
- Keep your cooking areas clean. Built-up grease and food are usually the first things to ignite when a fire begins.
- Never leave the stove or oven unattended while cooking.
- Don’t leave leftover pans of cooking oil or fat on a burner to cool down. It’s too easy to accidentally turn on the wrong burner and ignite the pan. Put them on hot pads on an out-of-the way counter instead.
- Make stove controls easy to read from a distance. For example, you could mark “off” with a bright red dot.
- Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher easily accessible in the kitchen, preferably bracket-ed to the wall near an exit. Don’t keep it right next to the oven, because the flames of an oven fire could prevent you from getting to it. When using an extinguisher, remember to PASS – Pull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.