Fire Safety Tips to Keep Your Family Safe This Winter
Winter is the time of year when home fires are most prevalent. With everyone trying to cope with colder temperatures, the use of space heaters and other means to heat a home can turn deadly if some fairly simple safety tips are not followed.
The American Red Cross states that “The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.”
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?
Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Family
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 for help.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- Wood burning, kerosene, propane, and electric heaters can ignite flammable items (e.g., draperies). Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot. Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Cigarettes are the leading cause of fire deaths. Never smoke in bed or in a place where you may fall asleep. Run water over an ashtray before emptying it into the trash.
- Children playing with matches or lighters are the leading cause of fire deaths for children 5 and under. Keep these items up high, preferably in a locked cabinet, out of the sight and reach of small children.
- If lights dim or flicker, fuses blow frequently, or sparks shoot from receptacles when items are plugged in or unplugged, consult an electrician. Never run cords under rugs or heavy furniture. Don’t use light bulbs with higher wattages than recommended for a fixture.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
More Information Available
For more tips on Preparing, Responding and Recovering during and after a fire visit the American Red Cross website. Also available is a Home Fire Safety Checklist that you can print and save.