Family meetings to discuss emergency procedures, escape routes and general life saving tips are a must. Every room should have two escape routes and rope ladders for windows if necessary. Children should be taught how to open windows and climb to safety. Everyone should know the fastest way out of each section of the house. Review plans frequently.
For relative harmless fires, it is wise to keep all-purpose, dry chemical fire extinguishers around the home. Never try to put out an electrical fire with water, always disconnect the appliance before attempting to extinguish the blaze. Remember, if you doubt your ability to bring a fire under control – get everyone out of the house and call the fire department.
Set Strict Smoking Rules
Smoking and matches are the primary causes of house fires. Never allow anyone to smoke in a chair or sofa when drowsy. Use large, deep ashtrays. Look for any unextinguished hazards in sofas, wastebaskets and ashtrays. Never light matches near flammable liquids, stacks of paper or in attics or closets. Keep matches where young children can’t get to them.
Cook Grease Free
Grease spills are frequent causes of fire and should be cleared immediately. Never allow grease to accumulate under range hoods, ovens or burners. Keep curtains and waste containers away from the stove. Cover fry pans when cooking foods which may spatter grease.
Beware of Wiring
Overloaded electrical systems invite fire. Watch for overload signals such as dimming lights when appliances go on, a shrinking picture on the TV, slow-heating appliances and fuses blowing frequently. Check for frayed insulation, loose connections, damaged cords, faulty switches and loose wall receptacles.
Check Heating Equipment
During the home heating season, inspect furnaces, chimneys and flues for proper working order. Never keep wood, paper or trash near a heat source. Use a fireplace screen and clean the ash pit every few weeks. Do not use room heaters which can be tipped over easily. Use proper fuel for non-electrical space heaters, and never refuel while the unit is operating.
Since fire gases cause three out of four fire deaths in dwellings, an adequate smoke detection system is an absolute necessity. The loud siren (at the first sign of smoke) will give your family the precious extra time to insure their safety. One or two detectors strategically placed outside bedrooms should suffice.
Sleep with Doors Closed
This is one of the simplest safety precautions. A snug-fitting solid-core wood door, when shut, can triple the time it takes for a fire to become fatal inside your room. Tell your children to keep bedroom doors closed — and tell them why!
Teach your Children Well
Teach young children about the danger of fire. Satisfy a child’s natural curiosity about fire, but always make sure matches or lighters are completely out of reach. If a child is tall enough to reach the stove controls, make the kitchen off limits unless someone is there to supervise.
Halls, attics, basements, closets, garages and areas around heating units should be kept free of rubbish, especially newspapers, discarded clothing, boxes, mattresses and bedding, draperies and toys. Discard old paint, thinners, solvents, oily cloths and wood scraps. Keep any combustible liquids in a tightly closed metal container and store them in a cool place.