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Fire Prepareness

House on FireYou just never know if a fire might show up at your house so being prepared is a smart thing for you and your family.

FIRE PREPARENESS

Fire is one of the most common disasters. Fire causes more deaths than any other type of disaster. But fire doesn’t have to be deadly if you have early warning from a smoke detector and everyone in your family knows how to escape calmly. Please be serious about the responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire.

Be prepared by having various household members do each of the items on the checklist below. Then get together to discuss and finalize your personalized Fire Plan.

Install smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your residence. Keep new batteries on hand.

New smoke detectors installed:________(date)

Batteries purchased:________(date)

Test smoke detectors once a month: ________(date)

Start a chart and sign it after each round of tests.

______________(family member name) checks smoke detectors.

Look at the fire extinguisher you have to ensure it is properly charged. Use the gauge or test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded replace it or have it professionally serviced.

Get training from the fire department in how to use the fire extinguisher.

_______________(family member name) examines extinguisher.

______________________________________________________ (family member names) have been trained to use the extinguisher.

Draw a floor plan of your home; mark two fire escape routes for each room.

Floor plan completed:_____________ (date)

Pick a safe outside place to meet after escaping from a fire.

Meeting place:__________________________________

Practice a low-crawl escape from your bedroom. Try it with your eyes closed to see how well you could do in thick smoke.

Smoke escape drill conducted:__________________(date)

Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year.

Home fire drill conducted:______________________(date)

Make your home fire safe

•Smoke detectors save lives. Install a battery-powered smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.

•Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace batteries at least once a year.

• Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Get training from the fire department in how to use it. Also include in the kit written instructions on how to turn off utilities at your house.

• Conduct periodic fire drills, so everyone remembers what to do when there is a fire.

Plan your escape routes

•Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.

• Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.

• Practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Once you are out, stay out!

Escape safely

•If you see smoke in your first escape route, use your second way out.

• If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to escape.

• If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, use your second way out.

• If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the widow.

• If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.

 

Grease Fires

Grease FireGrease fires happen when a collection of grease or oil on a stove, oven, or fryer come in contact with a lit flame or become hot enough to ignite. Grease fires are extremely dangerous because it is a liquid and can spread rapidly and is easily splashed. This can cause the fire to spread to cabinets, furniture, and other flammable areas of the kitchen.

 The best way to deal with a grease fire is to prevent it. The number one way to stop a grease fire is to stay by the stove or fryer at all times. The most serious fires have occurred when food is left to cook on its own. Some other helpful hints are:

 Heat oil slowly. If your cooking oil gets heated too fast it can easily become flammable and spread through your kitchen or cooking area.

 Keep things away from the oil that is being heated. Be careful not to have any liquids close to the pan. If water spills into a hot pan filled with grease it will immediately turn into steam. The steam will spew the hot grease into every direction. As the hot grease lands onto other items (dish towel, counter tops….) the fire can quickly become out of control.

 Deep Fryers can be dangerous. If you are using a deep fryer use extra caution when is come to cords that can be pulled or tangled by people and especially children walking around the area. Also make sure the fryer is not close to the edge of the counter where there is a greater risk that it can get tipped over.

 Don’t overfill your pot. To avoid over filling your fryer first put some cold oil into the pot, lower the food you wish to fry and then add more oil as needed. Once the oil is heated add foods carefully. Pat down food with a paper towel to make sure that the food isn’t holding any water. Lower the food gently with tongs, a long fork, or recommended frying devices. Never drop food into the fryer because they can cause the oil to splatter.

 Be prepared. Keep the lid to the pot nearby and make sure it fits properly. Watch out for glass lids, they can break from exposure to the extreme heat of an open flame. Once the lid is secure the flames will go out by themselves due to the lack of oxygen. Only after the lid is secure you should then turn off the flame. Don’t remove the lid until the pot is completely cooled, this can take up to 30 minutes. If the grease is still extremely hot it can reignite and splatter.  Also have oven mitts or thick pot holders nearby to prevent your hands from being burned.

 Smothering the flame. If you don’t have a lid handy a grease fire can be smothered with baking soda. Flour is not recommended to smother a grease fire because flour is potentially combustible. Using a wet towel can cause the pan to tip over and cause the fire to spread. You also have the risk of the towel itself catching on fire.

 If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the flame and keep the door closed. Make sure that the oven has cooled completely to prevent the chance of the fire reigniting. It is recommended to wait at least 1 hour because ovens tend to cool down slowly.

 Never pick up a pan that is on fire.  A pan that is engulfed in flames can spill and spread rapidly. Also you greatly increase the change of getting burned or catching your clothes on fire.

 Treat any burns only after the fire is out. You should have ointment that can treat minor burns handy, if your burns are severe go to the emergency room. If your clothes catch on fire remember STOP, DROP, AND ROLL.

 Call 911. You can always call and have the fire department go back to the station if you are able to put the fire out yourself.

 Have a fire extinguisher on hand. Both a Class B and a Class K are effective in putting out flammable liquids such as grease and oil, but remember that a fire extinguisher can potentially spread the flames of a grease fire as you try to put it out so be careful when you are using it.