General Fire Safety
During a fire, do the following:
- Use a fire extinguisher to put out very small fires. Do NOT try to put out a fire that you can’t control.
- If there’s a fire that appears to be too big to put out, leave the building immediately. Once you’re outside and safe, call 9-1-1 from a safe area.
- If your clothes catch fire, do NOT run. Stop, Drop, and Roll! Stop immediately; drop to the ground; cover your face; and roll about until the fire is extinguished.
- When the smoke detector or fire alarm sounds, leave the building.
- If smoke is consuming or filling your home, exit immediately and stay as low to the ground as possible while exiting. Smoke is very dangerous to your health. If possible crawl on your hands and knees to exit.
- If a fire occurs and you are trapped within a room, close the door and do not open the door.
- If the door feels cool to the touch and there is no sign of smoke, open the door slowly and exit the building.
- If the door is warm or smoke is coming under or around the door, use towels, blankets or clothing to seal around the door or vents to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 if possible and notify them that of the type of emergency, the address and that you’re trapped. To signal the fire departments, place a cloth hanging outside the window or flash a flashlight to let firefighters know your location.
- Always sleep with your bedroom door closed. This will prevent heat and smoke entering the room.
- If a person or a pet is trapped inside a building, notify the firefighter first on scene. Do not attempt to rescue the trapped person.
Smoke detectors save lives! A properly installed and maintained smoke detector can lower the chance of death in a home fire by fifty percent. Almost half of the nation’s fire fatalities occur in the six percent of homes that do not have smoke alarms. Early warning systems, such as smoke detectors, can save live and greatly reduce property damage. Most fatal fires occur at night when residents are sleeping. The best way to survive is to install and maintain a smoke detector within the home. Early fire detection and notification of residents is essential to a rapid escape to safety.
Smoke detectors are available for purchase at hardware stores throughout the United States. When choosing a detector, purchase a quality unit and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and placement. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, high on a wall or on a ceiling, including the basement and near sleeping areas. Follow the manufactures guidelines. Test the smoke detector every month; replace the battery annually to ensure functionality. One way to remember to change the smoke detectors battery is when you change your clock for daylight savings time. Every ten years all smoke detectors should be replaced. If a detector is dirty or full of dust gently vacuum the detector, which will improve function. When a detector makes a “chirping” sound indicates that the battery is low and needs to be replaced.