Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Prevent a House Fire 
An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home. There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. (1) In 2009, 85% of all fire deaths occurred in a house fire.  More than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 18,300 are injured. Don’t be one of these statistics and plan ahead to these tragedies.
Here are a few easy steps to prevent fires:

Smoke Detectors- To ensure complete safety every home should have at least two or more operational smoke detectors; preferably one on every floor of the home.  Your alarm should be checked to make sure it works once or twice a month.  To test the smoke detector you press the small red button on the device for about three seconds and if it beeps that shows that it works, if it does not that means the detector needs new batteries or is broken. In addition, your smoke detector should be mounted on your ceiling. 
Mounting Instructions:
Measure the distance between the mounting holes on the back of the mounting bracket.
Mark the same distance on your chosen location.
Drill small holes at the marks.
Attach the mounting bracket to the surface with the screws
Mount the rest of the detector into the bracket.

Prevention of Electrical Fires- Never use multiple cords in the same outlet, because the circuit could spark, which is a fire hazard.  Likewise, if you use many cords in the same outlet, it could allow the unit to overheat, which once again could start a fire.  Similarly, do not set cords and wires under rugs, clothes, furniture, etc. When you leave the household unplug lamps, cords, etc… not only is it a fire hazard, but it will lower electrical bill.

Use Appliances Wisely-When you operate an appliance make sure you understand how to operate it. If you do not understand how to operate it, use the instructor’s manual to ensure personal safety.  In addition, if you have small children use safety caps on the outlets when they are not being used. Lastly, make sure that you do not turn the heat up on high or leave appliances on when you are not home. Nonetheless, make sure flames on stoves are tame and not out of control. You always need to be present while appliances are in use….

Alternate Heaters-
·         Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually.
·         Kerosene heaters should be used only when approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel.
·         When you use gas grills try to avoid using starter fluid

Have a Fire Extinguisher on hand-
·         Every home should have a fire extinguisher in a specific location to avoid fires
·         Fires happen abruptly and spread out of control fast, so never underestimate the smallest fire or fire risk.
·         Check and make sure the extinguisher works annually to protect yourself in case of emergencies.  Examples of convenient places to keep a fire extinguisher include your kitchen, family room, dining room, pantry, etc...

Plan Your Escape-
·         Practice an escape plan from every room in the house.
·         Notify everyone to stay low when escaping from the fire….
·         Never open doors that are hot.
If you have any problems call your local fire department, do not hesitate because your life could be in jeopardy. In final analysis, here are a few brief steps to verify the safety, and awareness of fire safety to homeowners.

***We encourage you to have your Fire Departments phone number saved in your phone in case of emergency***

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