Fire Safety Tips

Protect Your Belongings
Keep your most important papers and possessions in your new fire safe (except when you actually need them elsewhere). Make an inventory of your valuables.

Fire Extinguishers
Choose a multi-purpose fire extinguisher for you home. Have a fire extinguisher on every floor that has been inspected and certified to be in working condition and install near an exit. Become familiar with the operation of the extinguisher by reading the instructions from the manufacturer.

Smoke Alarms
Install a smoke alarm on each floor and ideally in each sleeping room of your home. Mount them high on ceilings or walls. If they are mounted on ceilings, keep them four inches away from the wall. Avoid windows, outside doors and ducts where there could be drafts which would interfere with the alarm's operation. Follow manufacturer's instructions on maintenance of your smoke alarm.

Plan and Practice a Fire Escape Plan
Draw a diagram of your home and plan two escape routes from every room. Pick a place to meet after you escape. A good meeting place is a tree or telephone pole in front of your home. Make sure you can easily open all windows and exit doors. Practice your plan every six months.

Do not store gasoline near ignitable objects or near electrical or gas appliances. Keep gasoline outside the home in a specially designed container for gasoline with a tight lid. Do not smoke while using gasoline. Store gasoline out of sight and reach of children.

Use Common Sense if You Smoke
Smoking is by far the leading cause of fatal home fires. It is best never to smoke in your home or allow guests to smoke in your home. Remember it is not only smoking which causes fires, but children finding smoking materials such as lighters and matches.

Take Precautions When Cooking
Since cooking is the most common cause of all fires, think through the safety of your cooking area and practices. Keep all ignitable materials away from the stove and oven. Make sure all small children and pets are kept away when you are cooking by using a gate in doorways.

Make sure the cords on all electrical devices are in good condition. Use extension cords carefully, according to directions. Avoid using cube taps or other devices that allow you to plug in multiple devices. If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have an electrician check them. Consider updating your electrical system with new electrical circuit-interrupters.

Grill away from the house, away from siding, away from deck rails, away from lawn games, play areas and foot paths. Avoid grilling under eaves and under branches. Use long handled cooking tools and frequently clean grease buildup in trays below the grill. If you are using starter fluid, place it out of the sight and reach of children. When using a propane grill, check the hose first for leaks before beginning to grill.

The rule of thumb is use a professional to install and regularly inspect all heating units including fireplaces. If you turn off a heating device in warm weather, follow the manufacturer's instructions. When buying space heaters chose ones with automatic shut-off features. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could ignite.

Source:The National Fire Protection Association