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10 Tips for Fire Safety

Install Smoke Detectors
Working Smoke detectors can alert you to a fire in your home in time for you to escap, even if you are sleeping.  Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, and outside each sleeping area.  If you sleep with the door closed, install one inside your sleeping area as well.

Test detectors every month, following the manufacturer's directions, and replace batteries once a year or whenever a detector "chirps" to signal low battery power.  Never "borrow" a smoke detector's battery for another use - a disabled detector can't save your life.  Replace detectors that are more than 10 years old.

For complete protection, consider installing automatic fire sprinklers in addition to smoke detectors.

Keep An Eye on Smokers
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in North America.   Smoking in bed or when you are drowsy could be fatal.  Provide smokers with large, deep, non-tip ashtrays, and soak butts with water before discarding them.   Before going to bed orleaving home after someone has been smoking, check under and around cushions and upholstered furniture for smothering cigarettes.

Cook Carefully
Never leave cooking unattended.  Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and wear clothes with short, rolled-up, or tight fitting sleeves when cooking.   Turn pot handles inward on the stove where you can't bump them and children can't grab them.  Enforce a "kid free zone" that is 3 feet (one meter) around your kitchen stove.  If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the heat source.  Leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.

Plan Your Escape from Fire
If a fire breaks out in your home, you have to get out fast.  Prepare for a fire emergency by sitting down with your family and designing an escape plan.   Be sure that everyone knows atleast two unobstructed ways out - doors and windows- from every room.  (if you live in an apartment building, use the stairs - do not include elevators in youescape plan.  Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will gather after they escape.  Have your entire household practice your escape plan at least twice a year.

Give space-heaters space
Keep portable heaters and space heaters atleast three feet (one emeter) away from anything that can burn.  Keep children  and pets away from heaters, and never leave heaters on when you leave home or goto bed.

Remember: Matches and Lighters are Tools, NOT toys.
In a childs hand, matches and lighters can be deadly.  Use only child resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where kids can't reach or see them, preferrably in a locked cabinet.  Teach young children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, and should be used by adults only, or with adult supervision.  Teach young children not to touch them and to tell grownups if they find matches or lighters; older children should bring matches and lighters to an adult immediately.

Cool A Burn
Run cool water over a burn for 10-15 mintues,  Never apply ice.   It is dangerous to put butter or any other grease on a burn because it seals in the heat and can cause further damage to the tissue.  If the burned skin blisters or is charred, see a doctor immediately.

Use Electricity Safely
If an electric appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, and have it serviced before using it again.  Replace any electrical cord that is cracked or frayed.  Don't overload extension cords or run them under rugs.   Don't tamper with your fuse box or use improperly sized fuses.

Crawl Low under Smoke
During a fire, smoke and poisonous gases rise with the heat.  The air is cleaner near the floor.  If you encounter smoke or flames while you are escaping froma fire, use an alternative escape route.   If you must escape through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keep your head 12-24 inches above the floor.

Stop, Drop and Roll
If your clothes catch fire, DON'T RUN.  Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands and roll over and over from side to side to smother the flames.

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