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Fire Prevention Tips

Portable Heaters

Use heaters only in well-ventilated rooms.

Place heaters where they will not be knocked over easily.

Do not use heaters to dry clothing or other items.

Keep heaters at a safe distance from curtains, furniture, and all combustibles.

Kerosene Heaters

Be sure kerosene heaters are legal in your area.

Fill only with K-1 Kerosene; never use gasoline or camp stove fuel.

It's recommended that you refuel kerosene heaters outdoors and when they're cool.

Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

Use only seasoned firewood; never use green wood, artificial logs, or trash.

Always use a protective screen.

Store the ashes from your fireplace (and barbecue) in a metal container and dispose of only when cold.

Clean interiors, hearths, and chimneys annually.

Safe Kitchen Practices

Don't leave food unattended on the stove.

Keep dangling clothing away from burners.

Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Keep baking soda on hand to extinguish stovetop grease fires.

Make sure electrical outlets are designed to handle appliance loads.

Keep appliances clean and free of grease and food particles.

Keep curtains and other combustibles away from the stove.

Make sure the stove is off and small appliances are unplugged before going to bed.

Gas & Electrical Appliances

Make sure stoves and heating units are off when not in use.

Turn off electric blankets and other electrical appliances when not in use.

Disconnect appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers when done; store in a safe location until cool.

Disconnect electrical tools and appliances when not in use.

Allow hot tools such as glue guns and soldering irons to cool before storing.

Smoke Detectors

Place smoke detectors near bedrooms and on every floor.

Test the batteries monthly.

Keep smoke detectors away from air vents.

Place smoke detectors at least four to six inches away from walls and corners.

Electrical Wiring

Check appliances for frayed or cracked wiring; replace if necessary.

Do not place wiring under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas.

Avoid overloading outlets; make sure they stay cool to the touch.

Keep covers over electric plates and avoid exposed wiring.

Electric Space Heaters

Plug heaters directly into a wall socket, not into an extension cord.

Unplug heaters when they're not being used.

Safe Smoking Habits

Never smoke in bed.

Keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.

Do not leave burning cigarettes unattended.

Children and Fire Safety

Keep lighters and matches away from children.

Teach children how to call for emergency assistance.

Place safety plugs in unused electrical outlets.

See also Child Safety in the Yellow Pages.

Fire Safety Devices

Keep a fire extinguisher handy, especially in the kitchen.

Consider installing residential fire sprinklers.

Home Fire Escape Plan

Make evacuation plans from home and from neighborhood.

Plan several routes in case the fire blocks escape route.

Develop an emergency communication plan in case family members are separated from one another during a fire. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." Make sure everyone knows the name,

address, and phone number of the contact person.

Make sure all family members know these plans.

Practice the plan every six months.

Identify an outside meeting place; never return into a burning building.

Keep emergency numbers, a whistle, and a flashlight near the telephone.

Know how to call for emergency assistance.

Have disaster supplies on hand:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes

To Get Out Safely

Stay calm; it's important to think clearly.

If a door is closed, feel the knob. If it is hot, seek another way out. If it is cool, brace your foot and shoulder against the door. If there is smoke, crouch low and crawl to the nearest exit.

Close all doors behind you.

Never use an elevator.

If You Are Trapped

Don't panic.

Close doors between you and the fire. Stuff clothing or towels in cracks to keep smoke and gases out.

Open a window at the top to let out heat and smoke collecting on the ceiling.

Open a window at the bottom and bend down to get fresh air. Never open a window if smoke is rising from a lower floor.

Stand by the window and attract attention by waving a flashlight, sheet, or other light-colored cloth.

If there's a phone in the room, call the fire department and report your exact location.

If Your Clothes Catch Fire

Stop where you are.

Drop to the floor.

Roll slowly on the floor or ground using a rug or blanket, or pound on your burning clothing with something to smother the flames.

Cool off as soon as possible with water for 1st- or 2nd-degree burns. If burns are severe, seek medical attention immediately.

Rural Fire Safety

Building and Maintaining a Safe Environment

Use fire-resistant materials when building, renovating, or retrofitting structures.

Obtain local building codes and weed abatement ordinances for structures built near wooded areas.

Create a safety zone to separate the home from combustible plants and vegetation.

  • Stone walls can act as heat shields and deflect flames.
  • Swimming pools and patios can be a safety zone.

Check for fire hazards around home.

  • Install electrical lines underground, if possible. Keep all tree and shrub limbs trimmed so they don't come in contact with the wires.
  • Prune all branches around the residence to a height of eight to ten feet. Keep trees adjacent to buildings free of dead or dying wood and moss.
  • Remove all dead limbs, needles, and debris from rain gutters.
  • Store combustible or flammable materials in approved safety containers and keep them away from the house.
  • Keep chimney clean.

Burn Days

Visit the Burn Wise Section of the EPA's website to learn before you burn and determine if the local air quality is optimal for burning.
www.epa.gov/air/burnwise/
whatyoucando.html

airnow.gov

Burn Permits

Burn permits are issued by local fire departments for a specified period of time and are valid only in the county in which they are issued. Visit www.localfirehouse.com/
departments
to find the address and phone number for your local fire department and call to obtain permit information.

Burning

If you live in a rural area, you may be able to burn vegetative materials during certain seasons on certain days, after obtaining a burn permit.

  • Build fires away from nearby trees or bushes.
  • Always have a way to extinguish the fire quickly and completely.
  • Never leave a fire - even a cigarette - burning unattended.

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