1. Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors Smoke detectors warn you of fire in time to let you escape. Install them on each level of your home and outside of each sleeping area. Follow the manufacturer's directions, and test once a month. Replace batteries twice a year, or when the detector chirps to signal that the battery power is low. A good time to replace your batteries is when you change your clocks. Don't ever take the battery out for other uses!
2. Plan and Practice Your Escape If fire breaks out in your home, you must get out fast. With your family, plan two ways out of every room. Choose a meeting place outside where everyone should gather. Once you are out, stay out! Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year. When you change your clocks (and your smoke alarm batteries) is a good time to do this.
3. Space Heaters Need Space Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding, or anything else that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed, and keep children and pets well away from them.
4. Be Careful Cooking Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and don't leave cooking unattended. Keep your pot's handles turned inward so children won't knock or pull them over the edge of the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then, turn off the burner. Do not throw water on a grease fire; you could be badly burned and even help the fire spread!
5. A Match is a Tool for Adults In the hands of a child, matches or lighters are extremely dangerous. Store them up high where kids can't reach them. And teach your children from the start that matches and lighters and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for kids. If children find matches, they should leave them where they are and tell an adult immediately.
6. Use Electricity Safely If an appliance smokes or begins to smell unusual, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Check all your electrical cords, and replace any that are cracked or frayed. If you use extension cords, replace any that are cracked or frayed; and don't overload them or run them under rugs. Remember that fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire: don't tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size.
7. Cool a Burn If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain. Do not use butter on a burn, as this could prolong the heat and further damage the skin. If burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately or call 911.
8. STOP, DROP, AND ROLL Everyone should know this rule: if your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.
9. Crawl Low Under Smoke If you encounter smoke using your primary exit, use your alternate route instead. If you must exit through smoke, clean air will be several inches off the floor. Get down on your hands and knees, and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
10. Practice Candle Safety The popularity of candles as home decorations in recent years, has resulted in an increase of candle related fires. Some safe tips include: Never leave a lit candle unattended in any room of the house; never leave candles burning when you go to bed; and never use candles near combustible materials such as curtains, drapes, bedding and furniture.
By planning ahead, you can do a lot to prevent a fire. But, once a fire starts in your home, there are only three things to do: get everyone out of the house, close the door behind you, and THEN call 911, either from a cell phone or a neighbor's house. DO NOT go back into a burning building, no matter what. If you think someone is trapped inside, tell the 911 operator and firefighters when they arrive.
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