We would like to remind residents that fires do and can happen, often with serious consequences for young and old alike. Below are some common causes of fires and general safety tips for fire safety.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing a vent pipe.
- Keep all combustible materials away from the clothes dryer.
- Use the lowest heat setting possible in order to dry your clothes.
- Clean the lint screen before each use.
- If the clothes dryer does not dry clothes efficiently, check for a plugged vent.
- Install a smoke alarm on every floor of your home. Check the batteries once a month, and change the batteries at least twice a year.
- Keep fire extinguishers where they are most likely to be needed and keep matches out of children’s reach.
- Always keep space heaters away from curtains and other flammable materials.
- Install guards around fireplaces, radiators, pipes and wood-burning stoves.
- Plan and practice a fire escape route with your family or roommates.
- When lighting a fire or brush-fire never use gasoline to ignite the fire. Gasoline is combustible and may "explode causing skin burning if you are too near it.
- Make sure your house or apartment number is readable from the street. This makes it easy for emergency crews to get to you quickly.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and in each bedroom and test each smoke detector every month.
- Install fire extinguishers in the kitchen and the garage for quick and easy access.
- Identify two clear escape routes from each room in your home with your family, and practice them over regularly.
- Purchasing fire escape ladders for each bedroom can save lives and allows everyone to get out quickly in an emergency.
- Take great care to make sure candles are in sturdy holders and out of reach of children and pets, never leave candles lighting at you go to bed.
- Check to see that electrical outlets have no more than one heat-producing appliance plugged into them.
- Are lighters and matches out of the reach of children?
- Kept all flammable materials at least three feet away from heat sources?
- Made sure outdoor barbecue grills are kept away from your home, trees, shrubs and other combustible materials.
- Never store flammable liquids near heat, sparks or flames.
- Have a professional check boilers, furnaces and chimneys every year.
Should a fire happen:
Remember and use the following guidelines to escape from a fire:
- If smoke is present, crawl low to escape. Because smoke rises in a fire, breathable air is often close to the floor.
- Make sure children can open windows, go down a ladder or escape ladder and lower themselves to the ground.
- Practice with them. Always lower children to the ground first before you go out a window.
- Get out quickly and never, under any circumstances, return to a burning building.
- If you cannot escape, stay in the room and stuff door cracks and vents with wet towels, rags or clothing.
- If a phone is available, call the fire department—even if rescuers are already outside—and tell the call taker your location and amount of people inside.