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  1. 1. During or After F A Cand Hurricane Fire T Tornado T S H E E Safety wide range of natural disasters occurs within the United States every year. Natural disasters A can have a devastating effect on you and your home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration encourages you to use the following safety tips to help protect yourself, your family and your home from the potential threat of fire during or after a tornado or hurricane. You can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty by being able to identify potential hazards and following the outlined safety tips. SOME TYPES OF FIRE RELATED place containers in a well- GAS SAFETY HAZARDS PRESENT DURING AND ventilated area. s Smell and listen for leaky gas con- AFTER A TORNADO OR HURRICANE Keep combustible liquids away s nections. If you believe there is a s Leaking gas lines, damaged or from heat sources. gas leak, immediately leave the leaking gas propane containers, house and leave the door(s) open. and leaking vehicle gas tanks ELECTRICAL SAFETY s Never strike a match. Any size could explode or ignite. Assume all wires on the ground s flame can spark an explosion. s Debris can easily ignite, especially are electrically charged. This s Before turning the gas back on, if electrical wires are severed. includes cable TV feeds. have the gas system checked by a s Pools of water and even appli- s Look for and replace frayed or professional. ances can be electrically charged. cracked extension and appliance s Generators are often used during cords, loose prongs, and plugs. GENERATOR SAFETY power outages. Unless generators s Exposed outlets and wiring could s Follow the manufacturer’s instruc- are properly used and maintained, present a fire and life safety haz- tions and guidelines when using they can be very hazardous. ard. generators. s Alternative heating devices used s Appliances that emit smoke or s Use a generator or other fuel-pow- incorrectly create fire hazards. sparks should be repaired or ered machines outside the home. Proper use and maintenance can replaced. CO fumes are odorless and can decrease the possibility of a fire. s Have a licensed electrician check quickly overwhelm you indoors. s Appliances that emit smoke or your home for damage. s Use the appropriate sized and sparks should be repaired or type power cords to carry the replaced. electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires. CHEMICAL SAFETY s Never run cords under rugs or s Look for combustible liquids like carpets where heat might build up gasoline, lighter fluid, and paint or damage to a cord may go thinner that may have spilled. unnoticed. Thoroughly clean the spill and August, 1998
  2. 2. s Never connect generators to AND REMEMBER... another power source such as s Be careful when using candles. power lines. The reverse flow of Keep the flame away from com- electricity or “backfeed” can elec- bustible objects and out of the trocute an unsuspecting utility reach of children. worker. s Some smoke alarms may beHEATING SAFETY dependent on your home’s electri- cal service and could be inopera-s Kerosene heaters may not be legal tive during a power outage. Check in your area and should only be to see if your smoke alarm uses a used where approved by authori- back-up battery and install a new ties. battery at least once a year.s Do not use the kitchen oven range s Smoke alarms should be installed to heat your home. In addition to on every level of your home. being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes. s All smoke alarms should be tested monthly. All batteries should bes Alternative heaters need their replaced with new ones at least space. Keep anything com- once a year. bustible at least 3 feet away. s If there is a fire hydrant near yours Make sure your alternative heaters home, keep it clear of debris for have “tip switches.” These “tip easy access by the fire department. switches” are designed to auto- matically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.s Only use the type of fuel recom- mended by the manufacturer and follow suggested guidelines.s Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot.s Refuel heaters only outdoors.s Make sure wood stoves are prop- erly installed, and at least 3 feet away from combustible materials. Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.s Use a glass or metal screen in FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: front of your fireplace to prevent The United States Fire Administration sparks from igniting nearby car- Office of Fire Management Programs pets, furniture or other com- 16825 South Seton Avenue bustible items. Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727 Or visit the USFA web site: www.usfa.fema.govAugust, 1998