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Fire Plan, Detection & Escape

  • Install and maintain smoke detectors - This early warning device can help ensure a safe excape.  Test smoke detectors every week and replace batteries at least twice a year.  If the smoke detector sounds, get out fast and stay out! 
  • Draw an escape plan of your home - Whether you live in a house, apartment or mobile home, make an escape plan.  Include all doors, windows, hallways and stairways.  Indicate two exits from every room.  Alternate exits are needed in case primary exits are blocked by smoke or fire.
  • Pratice the plan with the entire family - First, walk through the plan with everyone to be certain all exits are easily opened and safe to use.  Assign someone to help young children, the disabled and the elderly.  Hold practice drills at least twice a year.  Practice durning the day and at night to prepare everyone for different fire situatins.
  • Get out and stay out - If you smell smoke, see fire or hear the smoke detector, follow your escape plan.  Get low to avoid breathing toxic gases, smoke and hot air.  Always test for danger before proceeding.  Feel the door with the back of your hand.  If the door is hot, don't open it.  Use your second way out.  If you are unable to escape, hand a sheet or piece of clothing out the window to signal for help.  If the door is cool, follow your escape plan closing all doors behind you.  Never use elevators during a fire.  Never go back into a burning building for any reason.
  • Go to your safe meeting place - Once out of your home, everyone should immediately go to the designated meeting place.
  • Call for help - When your family is gathered at the meeting place, send one person touse a neighbors home to call 911.  Everyone else should remain together until the fire department arrives.  When calling for help, stay calm!  Speak slowly and clearly.  Give your name and complete address.  Stay on the line until the operator tells you to hang up.  Escape first - then call 911.

Fire Prevention and Additional Tips

Prevention is the best way to keep your home safe from fire.

Be Kitchen Wise

Never leave cooking unattended. Use oven mitts and wear clothes with tight-fitting or rolled-up sleeves when you cook. Use a timer to remind you to turn off burners and the oven. Keep stove surfaces free of clutter and built-up grease. Don't cook if you've been drinking alcohol or taking medication that makes you drowsy.

Be Smoker Wary

Provide smokers with large, deep, non-tip ashtrays. Empty ashtrays often, wetting the contents before dumping them into wastebaskets. Never smoke in bed or while drinking alcohol or while you are on medication that could make you drowsy or disoriented.

   Give Space Heaters Space

Keep portable heaters and space heaters at least three feet (one meter) from everything.. including you. Just brushing against one could set your clothing on fire.

   Install Smoke Detectors

Be sure to have smoke detectors outside or in all sleeping areas, and on every level of your home, including the basement. If you have a hearing impairment, use tested and approved smoke detectors that trigger a strobe light. Test your smoke detectors monthly and change their batteries once a year. You can use a stick, broom handle ladder or sturdy step stool to reach the detector. Do not stand on a chair.

   Plan Your Escape

Know Two Ways Out Plan two escape routes from every room in your home. During a fire, smoke or flames may block an exit, forcing you to use an alternate escape route.

   Know How to Unlock Doors and Windows

Windows should open easily and fully to allow escape. All security-barred windows and doors needed for escape should be equipped with quick-release devices that every household member can operate. Practice emergency exit drills to identify and eliminate obstructions.

   Know All Building Exits

lf you live in an apartment building, count the number of doorways between your apartment and the two nearest exits. During a fire, you may have to escape in the dark. No matter where you live, be familiar with all exits, including windows. If you have trouble with stairs, it may be best to sleep on the first floor.

   If You Are Trapped..

Remain calm. Close all doors between you and the smoke. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire department and tell the dispatcher where you are trapped. Call the fire department even if you can see fire trucks through your window. Stuff rags, towels, or clothing in the cracks around doors to keep smoke out. Wait at a window; signal the fire fighters by waving a light-colored cloth or flashlight and wait to be rescued.

   If Fire Strikes...

Knowing how to protect yourself during a fire emergency could save your life.

   Test Doors Before You Open Them

Kneeling or crouching at the door, reach up as high as you can and touch the hinge, the knob, and the space between the door and its frame with the back of your hand. If the door is cool, open it cautiously and continue along your escape route. If it is warm, keep the door closed and seek an alternative escape route or stay in your room.

   Crawl Low Under Smoke

If you encounter smoke while using your primary exit, use an alternative route. If you must exit through smoke, crouch or crawl. Heat and smoke rise; cleaner air will be 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) above the floor.

   Get Out and Stay Out

Leave the building as quickly as you can. Call the fire department from a neighbor's phone. Do not go back into the building for any reason.

   Stop, Drop, and Roll

If your clothing catches fire, stop where you are, drop gently to the floor or ground; cover your face with your hands to protect your face from flames; and roll over and over to smother the flames. If you cannot drop to the floor, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.

   Smother a Grease Fire

If a pan of food catches fire, using a pot holder, carefully slide a lid over it and turn off the burner. Keep lid in place until cool. Do not use water on a grease fire!


Make an Escape Plan

Draw a plan of your home.

Plan two ways out of every room, including bedrooms.

Make special arrangements if you or someone in the home is frail or disabled.

Be sure all locks can be unlocked quickly.

If an escape path is from above the ground floor, make sure there is a safe way down.

Choose a meeting place away from danger, preferably in the front of the property (a gate post, mailbox or particular tree).

Practice your escape plan at least twice a year, not by walking or running, but by crawling low to reach safety. Practice starting in the bedroom, then again from other rooms.

Keep a copy of your escape plan in a prominent place (a bulletin board or refrigerator door).

Ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of fire.

Do not hesitate.

Follow the escape plan.

Crawl low under smoke.

Test each door using the back of your hand (if it is hot do not open it use another escape path). Do not grab the door handle.

Close all doors as you go. This will slow the spread of fire and smoke.

If you are trapped, stuff the cracks around doors to keep smoke out. Wait by a window and signal for help from there.

Do not try to take possessions or pets. Just get out!

Do not go back - no matter what!

Call the 911 from the nearest phone AWAY from the building on fire.

Make sure you can unlock doors quickly It is essential that in an emergency you can quickly escape from your home. While you are at home make sure that keys are in or very close to each lock. Do not lock a door from the inside and place the key in another room.

Visiting Children

If children are present in the home or visit, remove all matches and lighters from their reach. Do not leave them unsupervised near fires or hot surfaces. Make sure all pot handles on the stove are turned away from the front of the stove. Do not leave hot irons unattended. If young children are regular visitors, use protective covers on unused electrical outlets.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke is responsible for 3 out of 4 fire deaths

Install a smoke detector on all levels of your home or apartment, especially outside of bedrooms. Keep smoke detectors dust free and change batteries at least once a year. Test all smoke detectors once a month.

Since smoke rises, smoke detectors should be installed on ceilings or walls between six and twelve inches from the ceiling. Avoid placing detectors high in corners where the wall and ceiling meet. Also, avoid installing detectors within three feet of an air supply register or return. Smoke could be pushed or pulled away from the detector by air flow. For further information, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

How to Best Care for a Smoke Detector

Dirt, extreme changes in temperature and cooking exhaust can cause a false alarm or malfunction of the detector. To prevent false alarms, locate the detector away from air vents, air conditioners and fans. Keep the grillwork free of dirt by occasional vacuuming and dusting. Don't paint the cover of a smoke detector as this may clog the grillwork. Test your detector every month, or more often if necessary to make sure it's working. This is usually done with the test button, if provided.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are classified according to their use on the four classes of fires. Determining the class of fires is based on two symbols. There is a graphic and letter designation with a figure. The four classes of extinguishers/fires are the following as specified by letter and figure color: For the purpose of using fire extinguishers, there are four principal classes of fire, denoted by letter and figure color, depending on the fuel involved. The fuels involved in the various classes of fire are: Class A, Class B, Class C and Class D.

  • Type A fires consist of normal combustibles such as , paper, cloth, rubber and many plastics. A typical class A extinguisher is a water extinguisher.
  • Type B fires are flammable liquids such as gasoline, grease, and cooking oils. A typical class B extinguisher is Carbon Dioxide.
  • Type C fires are fire that involve energized electrical equipment. Class C extinguishers are based on their ability to be nonconductive. Keep in mind if the equipment becomes de-energized (unplugged) it may become a type A fire.
  • Type D fires involve combustible metals such as potassium, magnesium, titanium and sodium. Class D extinguishers usually use sodium chloride as an agent.

General operating procedures of a fire extinguisher follow the letters PASS.

  • PULL: Pull the pin. (Some units require the releasing of a lock latch, pressing a puncture lever, inversion, or other motion.)
  • AIM: Aim the extinguisher nozzle (horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • SQUEEZE: Squeeze or press the handle.
  • SWEEP: Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire. Watch for re flash. Move in close and pull apart the burned area to get at hot spots.

Discharge the contents of the extinguisher. Foam and water extinguishers require slightly different action. Read the instructions on each unit to ensure proper use. Extinguishers should be checked regularly for pressurization. If you use a extinguisher partially it still needs to be refilled and recharged. If you have any further extinguisher questions, contact us for a demonstration.


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