Fire Safety Tips

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Get fire safety tips and advice from Snikiddy and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Squad. This information will prepare your family on what to do in the event of a fire and well as how to prevent …

Get fire safety tips and advice from Snikiddy and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Squad. This information will prepare your family on what to do in the event of a fire and well as how to prevent them from starting.

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  • 1. Fire Safety Tips and Advice to Keep Your Family Safe Snikiddy, LLC © 2007 Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, http://www.Snikiddy.com Montgomery County, Maryland. All Rights Reserved 1-866-892-5365 Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service 101 Monroe St., 12th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850 Telephone: (240) 777-2400
  • 2. www.Snikiddy.com  2  Table of Contents    Quick Reference Guide Print for your Refrigerator   Pg 3    Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers       Pg 4  Article Written by: American Academy of Pediatrics, NFPA, National SAFE KIDS Campaign and ZERO TO THREE   Fire Safety for Children with Special Needs      Pg 6    Fact sheet on Highrise Fire Safety      Pg 8    Article Written by: The U.S. Fire Administration    Home Safety Checklist          Pg 9    Article Written by: American College of Emergency Physicians    Advice about Smoke Alarms        Pg 11    Teach your Children about 9­1­1       Pg 13    Candle Safety            Pg 14    Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Tips        Pg 15    Cooking Safety Tips            Pg 16    Exit Drills in the Home (E.D.I.T.H)      Pg 17    Fire Escape Plan Grid          Pg 19    Fire Extinguishers            Pg 20    Fireplace and Wood Burning Safety      Pg 22    Interactive Fire Safety Website for Kids: http://montgomerycountymd.gov/content/frs-safe/kids/index.asp              
  • 3. www.Snikiddy.com  3  QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE For your Refrigerator PREPARE — MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER FROM FIRE.   • Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet. • Prevent fires by practicing and teaching fire safe behaviors in your home. Keep children 3 feet away from the stove when cooking, don’t overload outlets, have your heating systems checked annually and use deep ashtrays and soak the ashes in water, if you smoke. • Fireplace and wood-stove ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days after a fire. It is important to learn how to dispose of fireplace and wood-stove ashes properly. • When using candles make sure you are handling them properly and be aware of candle safety. • Your children should know that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. Make sure your child knows his or her home address so he can tell the operator. PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY — ESPECIALLY YOUR HOME FIRE ESCAPE PLAN.   • It is critical that every household have a step-by-step plan for escaping a fire and practice it by having a "Home Fire Drill" at least twice a year. • Remember, your primary route should be the quickest, most direct way out. The secondary route should be the next safest, most direct path out. • Go outside to see if your house number is clearly visible from the street. • Escape first and then call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's house. • Get out and stay out. • Crawl low under smoke. • Remember - children sleep very deeply. PREVENT THE UNTHINKABLE. SMOKE ALARMS • In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to your household. • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. • It’s important to test every smoke alarm monthly and replace the batteries with new ones at least once a year. Pick a holiday or your birthday and replace the batteries each year on that day. If your smoke alarm starts making a "chirping" noise, replace the batteries and reset it. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS • Type A Fire Extinguisher- for fires that need a substance like water to cool burning materials down below ignition level. (Burning paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and plastics.) • Type BC Extinguisher- contains chemicals that fight: (1) Class B fires (flammable liquids, gases and greases), and (2) Class C fires (energized electrical equipment, electrical fire and burning wires.) The BC extinguisher never contains water because water conducts electricity and spreads burning oils or solvents. • Type ABC Extinguisher- multi-purpose extinguishers that fight all three types of fires. • Extinguishers should be on walls no higher than five feet from the floor and near the exit and hazard areas • Determine the hazard areas in your home, office, or other commonly used dwelling.  
  • 4. www.Snikiddy.com  4  A FACT SHEET ON FIRE SAFETY FOR BABIES AND   TODDLERS Children under age 5 are twice as likely as • Never use matches or lighters as the rest of us to die in a fire. Each year, amusement. Children may imitate you. thousands of children are injured or killed • Prevent fires by practicing and teaching in home fires, and 40 percent of them are fire safe behaviors in your home. Keep children 3 under age five. feet away from the stove when cooking, don’t To help protect babies and toddlers from the overload outlets, have your heating systems devastating effects of fire, the United States checked annually and use deep ashtrays and soak Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the ashes in water, if you smoke. the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has begun a national public safety Smoke Alarms campaign. USFA is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, NFPA, FACT: Two-thirds of home fires that kill National SAFE KIDS Campaign and ZERO children occur in homes without a working TO THREE to deliver this important smoke alarm. When fire breaks out, you message to parents and those who care for have only seconds to escape its heat, black children under age 5: smoke and deadly gases. Families can dramatically increase the chances of PREPARE — make your home safer from surviving a fire simply by installing and fire. maintaining working smoke alarms. Most PRACTICE fire safety — especially your hardware, home supply, or general home fire escape plan. PREVENT THE UNTHINKABLE. merchandise stores sell smoke alarms and their batteries. Some local fire departments When it comes to your family’s smallest offer smoke alarms at little or no cost. members, remember: Love alone won’t save them. Practicing fire safety will. What you can do: Children and Fire • Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside FACT: Matches, lighters, and other heat sleeping areas. sources are the leading causes of fire-related • Test your smoke alarms monthly deaths for children under age 5. In fact, and replace the batteries at least once a year. toddlers actually cause a large number of • If you keep the door of your baby’s home fires by playing with lighters and bedroom closed, keep a working smoke matches. Children have a natural curiosity alarm in the room and use a baby monitor about fire and you can’t underestimate their so you can hear if the alarm sounds. ability to strike matches or start a lighter. • When your children are ready, What you can do: familiarize them with the sound of the • Store matches and lighters out of smoke alarm. Teach them that when one children’s reach and sight, preferably in a goes off, they must leave the home and go locked cabinet. outside to the designated family meeting • Teach toddlers to tell you when they spot. find a match or a lighter. • Remember that even child-resistant lighters are not childproof, and store them safely. • When a child is curious about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly and firmly explain that matches and lighters are   tools for adults to use carefully.  
  • 5. www.Snikiddy.com  5  Home Fire Escape Plan ■ When you have babies and toddlers in the home, these extra escape options are FACT: Most of the families who have fire necessary: escape plans do not practice them. Consider • Keep a baby harness by the crib in that it takes just a few minutes, sometimes case of emergencies. The harness, only seconds, for a fire to spread out of worn like a body brace, allows you to control. Then consider the difference that a comfortably carry your baby and well-rehearsed fire escape plan can make. leave your hands free to escape the Children as young as 3 can follow a fire home. escape plan that they have practiced often, • Keep your child’s bedroom door and it can mean the difference between life closed. If a hallway fire occurs, a and death. closed door will hinder smoke from overpowering your baby or toddler, What you can do: giving firefighters extra time for • Draw a basic diagram of your home, rescue. marking all windows and doors, and plan two • Teach toddlers not to hide from routes out of each room. firefighters. Uniforms can be scary in • Consider various fire scenarios, from times of crisis. Teach children that easiest to most difficult. Imagine a fire starting firefighters are there to help in an and spreading from your kitchen, from the base- emergency. ment, and from the hallway outside your • If you have older children too, bedroom. Develop your escape plan with options have them practice crawling, touching for a safe escape in each scenario. doors, or going to the window, • If you are escaping smoke, crawl low according to your escape plan. under the smoke. Touch doors to see if they are hot before opening. If so, use the alternative escape route. • Designate a safe meeting point outdoors and teach your children never to go back inside the house. • Practice your fire escape plans regularly— at least twice a year, more often is better. Include a strategy for times when one parent is out of the home. • When practicing the fire escape plan, show children how to cover their nose and mouth to reduce smoke inhalation. • Keep exits clear of debris or toys.  
  • 6. www.Snikiddy.com  6  FIRE SAFETY FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Nine million or 13% of U.S. children under the age of 18, have a special health care need. Children with developmental disabilities, both physical and psychological, have higher rates of unintentional injury. Additionally, there are 28 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans who are unable to rely on the warning sound of a smoke alarm to alert them of a fire. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue encourages all children to be taught fire safety and most importantly, all family members and caregivers should plan for a fire and practice fire safety skills regularly. Plan Fire can occur at any time, in any place. Develop plans for children with special needs who may need to evacuate their home, school, church or other frequently visited locations. For children in wheelchairs, an accessible exit is critical. If the child needs help exiting the building, make sure he/she has more than one person identified and trained to assist them in the event of fire. Contact your child's school and learn your child's fire escape plan. Does this plan include help planned for your child? If your child has any life-sustaining medical or mobility requirement, include steps in your plan to make sure that equipment is available after an evacuation. If your child cannot clearly hear warning sounds and smoke alarms, consider installing a flashing smoke alarm on every level of your home and/or a vibrating smoke alarm where your child sleeps or rests. Teach All children learn differently. Some may require pictures, sign language, verbal or physical repetition. Others may learn by touch or by modeling the behavior of others who practice fire safety techniques. Decide how your child learns best and tailor your teaching about fire safety and fire escape plans and other ways to stay safe during a fire using these methods. Teach your child how to dial 9-1-1 and how to provide information for emergency personnel. Montgomery County 9-1-1 dispatch is also TTY/TDD equipped. Teach your child to stay low in smoke. If he/she is unable to lower themselves to the ground to crawl, teach a responsible adult how to help them get to the floor and onto a blanket. The adult should also remain low in the smoke and use the blanket to pull the child through the building to safety. Another option for a child who cannot crawl is to teach them to use a scooter board to escape a dangerous situation. If your child uses a wheelchair and his clothes or hair catch on fire, teach him how to lock his wheelchair, drop out of the wheelchair and onto the floor and to roll back and forth to smother the flames. If there is an adult present and the child or adult has a fire smothering blanket, this can also be used to smother the flames. Practice Test all smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Contact the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (240-777-2463) for more information on smoke alarms for the hearing impaired, installation of regular smoke alarms and free home safety checks. Make sure that children with disabilities are included in fire safety education at school and practice the information learned (in an adapted format) at home.  
  • 7. www.Snikiddy.com  7  Practice a Home Fire Drill with your child at least twice a year. Identify a person in your family who is responsible for helping your child with special needs escape in a fire. This person and a designated back-up person should regularly practice making a safe escape with your child. Practice dialing 9-1-1 with your child to ensure that there is a plan in place to convey emergency information. Deaf and Hard of Hearing The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages the hearing impaired and special needs population and their caregivers to practice the following precautionary steps: • For children in wheelchairs, an accessible exit is critical. The fire department should be notified of the presence of a child who has a disability in the home. • Contact the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm if you live in Montgomery County, Maryland or call 240-777-2476. • Install a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test all smoke alarms monthly and change batteries at least once a year. • Make sure a TTY/TDD phone (if used) is next to your bed, within arm's reach. Keep emergency telephone numbers and hearing aids (if necessary) close by. • Be sure to inform family members, the building manager, or a neighbor of your fire safety plan and practice it with them. Contact your local fire department on a non-emergency telephone (use appropriate TTY devices if necessary) and explain your special needs. • Request emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.  
  • 8. www.Snikiddy.com  8  A FACTSHEET ON HIGHRISE FIRE SAFETY Recent fatal fires in highrise structures have prompted Americans to rethink fire safety. A key to fire safety for those who live and work in these special structures is to practice specific highrise fire safety and prevention behaviors. The U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, would like you to know there are simple fire safety steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property in highrise fires. Be prepared for a highrise If the door is warm to • If there is no smoke in the fire emergency the touch hallway or stairwells, follow your building’s evacuation plan. • Never lock fire exits or Before you try to leave your • If you don’t hear the doorways, halls or stairways. Fire doors apartment or office, feel the door building’s fire alarm, pull the provide a way out during the fire and with the back of your hand. If the nearest fire alarm “pull station” slow the spread of fire and smoke. door feels warm to the touch, do while exiting the floor. Never prop stairway or other fire doors not attempt to open it. Stay in your • If you encounter smoke or open. apartment or office. flames on your way out, • Learn your building evacuation immediately return to your • Stuff the cracks around the door apartment or office. plan. Make sure everyone knows what with towels, rags, bedding or tape and to do if the fire alarm sounds. Plan and cover vents to keep smoke out. After a highrise fire practice your escape plan together. • If there is a phone in the room • Be sure your building manager emergency where you are trapped, call the fire posts evacuation plans in high traffic department again to tell them exactly • Once you are out of the areas, such as lobbies. where you are located. Do this even if building, STAY OUT! Do not go • Learn the sound of your you can see fire apparatus on the street back inside for any reason. building’s fire alarm and post below. • Tell the fire department if emergency numbers near all telephones. • Wait at a window and signal for you know of anyone trapped in the • Know who is responsible for help with a flashlight or by waving a building. maintaining the fire safety systems. sheet. • Only enter when the fire Make sure nothing blocks these devices • If possible, open the window at department tells you it is safe to do and promptly report any sign of damage the top and bottom, but do not break it, so. or malfunction to the building you may need to close the window if management. smoke rushes in. Do not panic in the event • Be patient. Rescuing all the of a highrise emergency occupants of a highrise building can take several hours. • Do not assume anyone else has already called the fire department. If the door is not warm to • Immediately call your local the touch emergency number. Early notification • If you do attempt to open the of the fire department is important. The door, brace your body against the door dispatcher will ask questions regarding while staying low to the floor and the emergency. Stay calm and give the slowly open it a crack. What you are dispatcher the information they request. doing is checking for the presence of smoke or fire in the hallway.  
  • 9. www.Snikiddy.com  9  HOME SAFETY CHECKLIST How safe is your home? Most homes could probably Kitchen Safety Tips be made safer, especially if children live there. Your   • When cooking, use back burners and family will be healthier and safer if you practice keep pot handles turned inward. prevention and prepare for emergencies. First, “hazard • Set refrigerator temperature between proof” your home using the following checklist 35˚ Fahrenheit and 40˚ F and the freezer at or developed by the American College of Emergency below 0˚ F. Physicians. Next, take a first aid course and learn to • Never leave perishable food recognize the warning signs of an emergency, and unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours, and less learn CPR. during hot weather. • Always wash cutting boards, knives, other utensils, and counter surfaces that have Help prevent injuries in your home. been used to prepare raw meats before reusing; Begin with this checklist: also allow them to dry before reusing. • Adequately ventilate the area above a Keep emergency numbers on every telephone in cooking surface. your home. Include numbers for your family   physician and pediatrician, regional Poison Control Center, and if 911 is not in your area, fire department, police department, and ambulance Bathroom Safety Tips service. • Make sure your house number is clearly visible • Use nonskid bath mats on bathroom floors from the street. and in bathtubs and showers. • Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit that includes a • Keep floor, wall, and fixtures clear of first-aid manual and up-to-date medical records for every water, soap, and other residues. member of the family. Make lists of medications (including • Don’t operate electrical appliances (electric dosages) and allergies for each family member. Review clocks, radios, hair dryers) near water-filled sinks them periodically, and replace supplies as they are used or and other water sources. Unplug appliances when expire. not in use. • Buy medicines and other household products with • Use nightlights. child-resistant caps. Be sure to keep these and other • Never leave young children alone in a materials that are unsafe for children out of their reach. bathroom. • Have and rehearse an emergency evacuation plan in case of fire or other emergency.  
  • 10. www.Snikiddy.com  10  General Safety Tips • Install smoke detectors and replace batteries twice a year. • Place at least one fire extinguisher on every floor, near exits and in full view; train household members in their use. Inspect fire extinguisher gauges every few months, and practice fire drills several times a year. Have a fire escape ladder on each upper floor. • Install carbon monoxide detectors; replace the batteries twice a year. • Eliminate clutter. • Set your hot water thermostat to no more than 125˚ F. • Never store chemicals or medicines in food containers; always keep them in original containers. • Be sure windows are secure. Install window guards to keep children from falling. Be sure windows unlock and open easily; never paint bedroom windows shut. • Keep electrical cords out of reach of children. • Be sure child-resistant safety latches are on all cabinets and drawers containing harmful substances. These include medications, cleaning supplies, paint, insecticides, and adult beverages. • Purchase toys appropriate for your child’s age. In homes with more than one child, be aware that older children’s toys may be hazardous for younger ones. Keep toys with small parts and other small objects out of reach of toddlers and young children. • Keep combustible materials away from space-heaters and wood stoves. • If you have firearms, store them unloaded and locked. Store ammunition locked away and separate from firearms.  
  • 11. www.Snikiddy.com  11  ADVICE ABOUT SMOKE ALARMS In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape. Why Should My Home Have Smoke Alarms? In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are a very important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home. What Types of Smoke Alarms Are Available? There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms. Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms. In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound. Okay, Where Do I Put Them? Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Where Would I Get Smoke Alarms? Many hardware, home supply, or general merchandise stores carry smoke alarms. If you are unsure where to buy one in your community, call your local fire department (on a nonemergency telephone number) and they will provide you with some suggestions. Some fire departments offer smoke alarms for little or no cost. Are Smoke Alarms Hard to Install? If your smoke alarms are hard wired, that is wired into the electrical system, you will need to have a qualified electrician do the initial installation or install replacements. For battery powered smoke alarms, all you will need for installation is a screw driver. Some brands are self adhesive and will easily stick to the wall or ceiling where they are placed. For all smoke alarm installations, be sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions because there are differences between the various brands. If you are uncomfortable standing on a ladder, ask a relative or friend for help. Some fire departments will install a smoke alarm in your home for you. Call your local fire department (on a non-emergency telephone number) if you have problems installing a smoke alarm.  
  • 12. www.Snikiddy.com  12  Helpful Tip Pick a holiday or your birthday and replace the batteries each year on that day. If your smoke alarm starts making a "chirping" noise, replace the batteries and reset it. How Do I Keep My Smoke Alarm Working? If you have a smoke alarm with batteries: 1. Smoke Alarms powered by long-lasting batteries are designed to replace the entire unit according to manufacturer’s instructions. 2. In standard type battery powered smoke alarms, the batteries need to be replaced at least once per year and the whole unit should be replaced every 8-10 years. 3. In hard-wired, battery back up smoke alarms, the batteries need to be checked monthly, and replaced at least once per year. The entire unit should be replaced every 8-10 years. What if the Alarm Goes Off While I’m Cooking? Then it’s doing its job. Do not disable your smoke alarm if it alarms due to cooking or other non-fire causes. You may not remember to put the batteries back in the alarm after cooking. Instead clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place. The alarm may need to be moved to a new location. Some of the newer models have a “hush” button that silences nuisance alarms. How Long will my Smoke Alarm Last? Most alarms installed today have a life span of about 8-10 years. After this time, the entire unit should be replaced. It is a good idea to write the date of purchase with a marker on the inside of your alarm so you will know when to replace it. Some of the newer alarms already have the purchase date written inside. In any event, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement. Anything Else I Should Know? Some smoke alarms are considered to be “hard-wired.” This means they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have battery backup. It’s important to test every smoke alarm monthly and replace the batteries with new ones at least once a year. The U.S. Fire Administration would like to remind you of some important fire safety and prevention information. • Plan and practice escape plans several times a year. • Make sure your whole family knows when and how to call emergency telephone numbers. • Obtain and learn how to use a fire extinguisher. • Install carbon monoxide detectors. • Consider installing residential fire sprinklers in your home. Contact your local fire department on a non-emergency phone number if you need help or have questions about fire safety in your home.  
  • 13. www.Snikiddy.com  13  TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT 911 In an emergency, would your children know how to call for help? The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service offers the following tips to help children as young as three learn all about 911: • Always refer to the number as "nine-one-one" not "nine-eleven." In an emergency your child may be confused when they can't find the "eleven" button on your telephone. • Make sure your child knows his or her home address so he can tell the operator. • Children should be told that the operator is their friend and may ask them questions such as where they live, what kind of emergency they have and who needs help. • Your children should know that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. Give them examples of what constitutes and emergency and explain to them that 9-1-1 is not a toy or game but should be called if the person thinks they need the help of the fire department or the police department. • Remind your child that in most cases, help will have already been dispatched before the call is complete and not to be concerned that their answers are too long or the length of time you are on the phone is delaying the arrival of assistance. • All 9-1-1 operators are trained to obtain as much information as possible from you while simultaneously arranging for emergency equipment to be sent to your emergency. The operator may give you instructions to assist the sick or injured person prior to the arrival of emergency services. • When reporting a fire, remind your children to "Get Out and Stay Out" and ALWAYS call 9-1-1 from a safe location such as a neighbor's house.  
  • 14. www.Snikiddy.com  14  CANDLE SAFETY Reported home candle fires have tripled in recent years. According to the NFPA during 2001, an estimated 18,000 home fires started by candles were reported to fire departments. These fires resulted in an estimated 190 civilian deaths, 1,450 civilian injuries and an estimated direct property loss of $265 million. In fact, two-fifths (41%) of the home candle fires start in the bedroom. Please follow these safety tips while using candles in the home: • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep. • Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g., clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations, etc.). • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from a material that can't burn and are large enough to collect dripping wax. • Don't place lit candles in windows. Blinds and curtains can easily ignite. • Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets. • Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids. • Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch and extinguish candles when they get to within two inches of the holder or decorative material. Votives and containers should be extinguished before the last half-inch of wax starts to melt. • Avoid candles with decorative items embedded in them. Candles & children and pets: • Keep candles up high out of reach of children and pets. • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle. • Do not allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms. • Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet. During power outages: • Use flashlights for emergency lighting during a power outage. Never use candles. • Try to avoid carrying a lit candle and don't use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space. • Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes. • Remember, A candle is an open flame. It can easily ignite any combustible material nearby.  
  • 15. www.Snikiddy.com  15  CLOTHES DRYER FIRE SAFETY TIPS While most home appliances are used without incident, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 15,500 fires associated with clothes dryers occur annually, causing an average of 10 deaths, 310 injuries and more than $84.4 million in property damage. A lack of maintenance, buildup of lint, placing inappropriate items in the dryer and inadequate venting are frequently cited as contributing factors. Did You Know? • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 15,500 clothes dryer fires occur annually, causing an average of 10 deaths, 310 injuries and more than $84.4 million in property damage. • Eighty-percent of American homes have clothes dryers. • A full load of wet clothes placed in a dryer contains about one half gallon of water. As the clothes dry, lint forms and builds up, reducing airflow in the dryer's vent, potentially causing the dryer to work improperly or overheat. Clothes Dryer DOs: • DO clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying EACH load of clothes. • DO clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically. • DO have a certified service technician clean and inspect the dryer and venting system regularly. • DO replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with rigid or flexible metal venting, which provides maximum airflow. • DO keep the area around the dryer clean and free from clutter. • Always use the appropriate electrical outlet for dryers and all major appliances. Clothes Dryer DON'Ts: • DON'T place clothing or fabric stained with a flammable substance, such as alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers or motor oil, in the dryer. Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode. Instead, dry the materials outdoors. • DON'T leave a dryer operating if you are not home. • DON'T forget to read the manufacturer warnings in the user manual and on the inside of the dryer door. • DON'T dry any item containing foam, rubber or plastic, such as bathroom and non-slip rugs and athletic shoes. • DON'T dry any item that contains glass fiber materials, such as a blouse or sweater with glass buttons or decorations. • DON'T overload the dryer with wet clothes.  
  • 16. www.Snikiddy.com  16  COOKING SAFETY TIPS • Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires. Three in every 10 reported home fires start in the kitchen - more than any other place in the home. • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (i.e. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging). • Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by creating a three-foot (one-meter) "kid/pet-free zone" around the stove. • Turn pot handles inward so they can't be bumped and children can't grab them. • Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup which can ignite. • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire. • Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated. • Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. You may also use baking soda. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire. • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Call 9-1-1 from a safe location. • Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. Close supervision is essential, whether children are helping an adult cook or simply watching. • If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave - If safe to do so. Call 9-1-1 from a safe location. Remember that food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings carefully to prevent steam burns. • Double-check the kitchen before you go to bed or leave the house. Make sure all other appliances are turned off.  
  • 17. www.Snikiddy.com  17  EXIT DRILLS IN THE HOME (E.D.I.T.H.) Being ready is the key to surviving a home fire. There are three things YOU can do to protect your family. They are simple, but they are very important. Do them now, before fire strikes. 1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. 2. Test smoke alarms monthly to be sure they are working and replace batteries at least once a year. If your smoke alarm makes a "chirping sound" - replace the battery immediately. 3. Plan and practice home fire drills. Make a Home Escape Plan! Fire strikes quickly, often in the middle of the night while your family is asleep. Establish a plan now for evacuating each member of your family. Then, if fire does strike, everyone will know what to do and where to go. One of the ways to keep your family safe is by practicing E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drills In The Home). Many injuries are caused by people of all ages reacting improperly when there is a fire in their home. They may be affected by smoke, disoriented by being awakened abruptly and frightened. It is critical that every household have a step-by-step plan for escaping a fire and practice it by having a "Home Fire Drill" at least twice a year. Remember, your primary route should be the quickest, most direct way out. For example, through the front door to your meeting place or through a window to a roof or balcony where you can safely wait for help. The secondary route should be the next safest, most direct path out. For example, through the window of the room next door. Unless your children are infants, don't have them wait for your help. In a fire, parents may be blocked from their children's bedrooms by smoke or flames. As soon as they are able, each child should know how to escape a fire and be taught to do so as soon as he or she smells smoke or hears the sound of the smoke alarm. Practice your plan with a HOME FIRE DRILL. Make sure everyone understands what to do and assess each escape route realistically to be sure it can be used in an emergency. Walk through the primary and alternative escape routes, ensuring that all exits are accessible to all members of your household. For example, will windows open easily? Are ropes and ladders required to escape from second-story windows? (If you choose to have escape ladders, always practice using a ground floor window). Practice your plan at night because things look very different in the dark. If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have quick-release mechanisms operational from the inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Quick-release mechanisms won't compromise your security, but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire. Go outside to see if your house number is clearly visible from the street. Numbers must be visible to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home. In Montgomery County, Maryland existing residential home numbering can be 3 1/2 inches high, however new residential homes must be at least 5 inches high and if you replace existing numbers they must be at least 5 inches high. Numbers should be placed on a contrasting background, with a reflective coating on the numbers for easy visibility at night.  
  • 18. www.Snikiddy.com  18  Escape first and then call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's house. In the event of a fire, do not stop for anything. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor's phone. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department. Get out and stay out. Once you are out of your home, do not go back for any reason. If people are trapped, firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. The heat and smoke of a fire are overpowering. Firefighters have the training, experience and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings. Establish a meeting place outside your house and everyone should proceed to this location immediately to take attendance and make sure everyone has escaped. Crawl low under smoke. Smoke contains deadly gases and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. Teach your family that in a fire they must stay low to the floor to avoid smoke and intense heat. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees keeping your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor. Revise your escape plan as circumstances change in your household. Make sure everyone including young children, older adults and people with disabilities are included. Remember - children sleep very deeply. Adults need to make sure that children know the sound of the smoke alarm and what to do if they hear it. You can find out who can hear the smoke alarm if you have a fire drill when everyone else is sleeping. If anyone in your home does not wake to the smoke alarm or requires assistance getting out, plan to designate an adult to help them escape.  
  • 19. www.Snikiddy.com  19  FIRE ESCAPE PLAN GRID Create a floor plan of your home using the grid below. Draw a floor plan of your home, including all windows and doors, and label each sleeping area. Indicate all working smoke alarms, which should be located on every floor of your home and outside of sleeping areas. Plan two routes of escape from every room and mark your family meeting spot, located safely away from your home. Post the escape plans on each level of your home and in locations where overnight guests and caretakers can easily see it. Most importantly, PRACTICE your fire escape plan regularly.  
  • 20. www.Snikiddy.com  20  FIRE EXTINGUISHERS A - Trash, Wood, Paper Type B - Flammable Liquids Type C - Electrical Fires Information about fire extinguishers A fire extinguisher is your best defense against fires that have just begun to burn - IF you are properly trained and feel comfortable using them. Fire extinguishers can: • give you enough time to escape from a burning structure. • put out fires completely if used properly. Not using the correct type of extinguisher can make the fire spread. It is crucial to know the type of fire you are trying to put out before you attempt to use an extinguisher. If you have any doubt - GET OUT. Pull any fire alarms (if applicable) on the way out. Call 9-1-1 from a safe location! Proper locations for fire extinguishers Fire extinguishers should be located in rooms that the family gets the most use out of. They should always be in plain sight and easily accessible. Do not conceal them behind curtains, under tables, in a closet, or on the ground. At least one extinguisher should be kept on each floor of your household. They should also be kept in basements and garages. • Extinguishers should be on walls no higher than five feet from the floor and near the exit and hazard areas • Determine the hazard areas in your home, office, or other commonly used dwelling. Fire extinguisher guidelines Only attempt to extinguish fires when they are small - no larger than a small trash can! Time is valuable. Keep time on your side by knowing what's what and where to find it. Remember, fire can double in size approximately every sixty seconds. • Call the fire department, by dialing 911, from a safe location. • Fire extinguishers should be maintained and ready for use at all times. • Pressure gauges and carbon dioxide containers should be checked monthly. If your extinguisher does not have a pressure gauge be sure to get one that does • All containers should be checked on a regular basis by all family members. Make it apart of everyday life. • Proper training, conducted by trained professionals is the key to correct use of an extinguisher Keep detailed records. Always keep track of usage and service of your fire extinguisher. Records can also be helpful after a fire incident. Insurance companies may ask questions about extinguishers and their history. Keep your fire extinguisher serviced and maintained properly. Know the proper signs and symbols of fire extinguishers. Research the best kind of fire extinguisher(s) you might need for your home or office. Most fire extinguishers have universal symbols and/or pictograph systems. This helps classify which extinguisher fights a certain kind of fire.  
  • 21. www.Snikiddy.com  21  Different types of fires use different types of extinguishers Buying an extinguisher can be confusing. Each contains substances that extinguish different classes of fires. Some are multi-purpose extinguishers that can be used for more than one kind of fire: • Type A Fire Extinguisher- for fires that need a substance like water to cool burning materials down below ignition level. (Burning paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and plastics.) • Type BC Extinguisher- contains chemicals that fight: (1) Class B fires (flammable liquids, gases and greases), and (2) Class C fires (energized electrical equipment, electrical fire and burning wires.) The BC extinguisher never contains water because water conducts electricity and spreads burning oils or solvents. • Type ABC Extinguisher- multi-purpose extinguishers that fight all three types of fires. REMEMBER the basics of using extinguishers. Make sure you place yourself in a position to safely exit the area if you need to get out fast! Have the fire in front of you and your back to an exit so you can back out - DO NOT turn your back on a fire! Remember to NEVER go past a burning fire to retrieve an extinguisher. You may end up trapping yourself! Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep The safety pin at The nozzle, horn, or hose Or press the handle. From side to side at the base of the top the extinguisher. at the base of the flames. the fire until it goes out.  
  • 22. www.Snikiddy.com  22  FIREPLACE AND WOOD BURNING SAFETY Fireplace and wood-stove ashes retain enough heat to ignite other combustible materials for several days after a fire. It is important to learn the following ways to dispose of fireplace and wood-stove ashes properly: • DO NOT discard your ashes into any combustible container like a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can. • DO put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid. • DO pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool. • DO keep your can OUTSIDE the home, away from combustibles. • DO teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or wood stove. As always, please make sure you test your smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year. Practice and plan a family home escape plan.