Smoke Alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or early in the morning, so install smoke alarms inside and outside of sleeping areas.
- Test the alarm monthly.
- Replace the batteries at least once per year.
- The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.
Cooking: Do not wear loose clothing (especially hanging sleeves) while cooking, walk away from a cooking pot on the stove, or leave flammable materials, such as potholders or paper towels, around the stove.
- When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.
- Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
- In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
- If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.
- After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.
Escape Plan: Prepare and practice a fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities.
- Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
- Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
- Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
- Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
- When a fire occurs, get out fast: you may only have seconds to escape safely. Take the safest exit route, but if you must escape through smoke, remember to crawl low, under the smoke and keep your mouth covered.
- Never open doors that are hot to the touch. If it is hot, leave the door closed and use your secondary escape route.
- If you can’t get out, close doors and cover vents and cracks around doors to keep smoke out.
- Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
- Designate a meeting location a safe distance in front of your home. Make sure everyone has gotten out safely and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number and that your house number can be seen day or night.
- Remember to escape first and then notify the fire department using the 9-1-1 system or proper local emergency number in your area. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. If someone is missing, or pets are trapped inside your home, tell the firefighters right away. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.
Candle Safety: Over half (55%) of home candle fires start because the candle is too close to some combustible material.
- More candle fires (38%) begin in the bedroom than in any other room.
- Falling asleep is a factor in 12% of home candle fires and 26% of the associated deaths.
- Half of all civilian candle fire deaths occur between Midnight and 6am.
- December is the peak month for candle fires; Christmas is the peak day.
- Young children and older adults have the highest death risk from candle fires.
- The risk of a fatal candle fire appears higher when candles are used for light.
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