Smoke Detectors or Smoke Alarms
If smoke alarms are not already in place, install them outside each sleeping area and on each floor of your home.
If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas too.
To retain the alarm’s sensitivity, vacuum cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
Use the test button to test your smoke alarms once a month.
Make sure your children know the sound of the smoke alarm.
If you have battery-powered smoke alarms, replace batteries once a year.
Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time.
Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get an extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A-10B:C.
Get training from the fire department or a fire extinguisher manufacturer on how to use your fire extinguisher. They operate in different ways and there is no time to read directions during an emergency.
Only adults should handle and use extinguishers.
Install extinguishers high on the wall, near an exit and away from heat sources.
Extinguishers should be easily accessible to adults trained to use them, but away from children’s curious hands.
Heat may make the contents less effective or cause the extinguisher to loose its charge more quickly.
If you try to use a fire extinguisher on a fire and the fire does not immediately die down, drop the extinguisher and get out. Most portable extinguishers empty in 8 to 10 seconds.
Look at your fire extinguisher to ensure it is properly charged. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacement or recharging fire extinguishers.
Preventing Kitchen Fires
Unplug appliance cords when not in use. Keep cords away from hot surfaces, water, and near sinks. Heed the slightest shock from a cord; mend or replace it.
Keep hot surfaces free of potholders, boxes, and other combustibles. Turn off ovens and range tops when not in use.
Before you leave check pilot lights, turn off cooking equipment, and deep-fat pan fryers. Check for and clean up accumulated grease. Remove combustibles from near hot surfaces.
Keep kitchen vent-hood exhaust fan on while cooking. Keep your kitchen clean.
If a stove fire starts, slide a lid over the burning pan and turn off the burner. Leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool.
Using a lid is your safest action, getting the fire extinguisher or baking soda to extinguish the fire delays action.
Flour and other cooking products can react explosively to flame and should never be sprinkled over fire. Moving the pan can cause serious injury or spread the fire.
Never pour water on grease fires.
If the fire persists, call 911 immediately.
Home Fire Drills
Keep a flashlight and shoes by your bed in the event of a fire.
Close your bedroom door and your children’s bedroom doors before you go to sleep. This contains the fire and may save your family’s lives.
Decide on a spot with your family where you can meet at a safe distance from the house.
Practice fire drills with your family on safe ways to get out of various parts of the house to the family meeting place. Consider a plan for disabled family members.
Remember there are more than one exit to each room. Make escape plans using the windows as well.