PROTECTING LIVES AND PROPERTY
© Copyright 2015 Rob Tooley
November 16, 2018
Escape Planning Tips (Part 3 of 4)
Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.
November 9, 2018
Escape Planning Tips (Part 2 of 4)
If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency
If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.
Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes. See NFPA's "Sleepover fire safety for kids" fact sheet.
Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately. Residents of high-rise and apartment buildings may be safer "defending in place."
Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
November 2, 2018
Escape Planning Tips (Part 1 of 4)
Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm.
A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Interconnected smoke alarms throughout the home are now required - when one sounds, they all sound.
When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.
Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
October 26, 2018
Halloween safety tips that will make your night more of a treat and less of a trick include:
Avoid flammable decorations including dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper that are highly flammable.
Keep decorations away from open flames and other heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
October 19, 2018
Portable Fire Extinguishers Part II
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) believes that children should not be trained how to operate portable fire extinguishers. Teaching children to use portable fire extinguishers runs counter to NFPA messaging to get out and stay out if there is a fire. Furthermore, children may not have the maturity to operate a portable fire extinguisher properly or decide whether or not a fire is small enough to be put out by the extinguisher. They may not have the physical ability to handle the extinguisher or dexterity to perform the complex actions required to put out a fire. In the process of extinguishing flames, children may not know how to respond if the fire spreads. NFPA continues to believe that only adults who know how to operate portable fire extinguishers should use them.
Portable Fire Extinguishers Part I
- Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
- To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher, with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
- For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
- Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
- Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
- Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
October 5, 2018
Portable Fireplace Safety
- Store ethanol fuel in a closed container, away from the fireplace and out of the reach of children. It may not be easy to see the ethanol fuel flame. Always close the lid or use a snuffer to be sure the flame is extinguished before refueling into a cooled fireplace. Use only fuel made specifically for the fireplace.
- A portable ethanol burning fireplace, and the fuel, should only be used by adults.
- Clean up any fuel spillage and be sure all liquid has evaporated before lighting the fireplace.
- Light the fireplace using a utility lighter or long match.
- An adult should always be present when a portable fireplace is burning.
- Place the fireplace on a sturdy surface away from table edges.
- Never try to move a lit fireplace or one that is still hot.
- Don’t pour ethanol fuel in a device that is lit or not completely cool. It may result in a fire or injury.
- Allow the device to cool down for at least 15 minutes before refueling.
- Extinguish the flame when you leave the room, home or go to sleep.
September 28, 2018
Heating safety tips
With Fall upon us and the nights getting colder, many of us are turning on our heating equipment for the first time in several months. With that in mind, here are a few safety reminders.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Teach young children and school-age children to tell a grown-up if they see matches or lighters. Children need to understand that fire is difficult to control, it is fast and can hurt
September 21, 2018
Children & Fire Safety Tips Part II
Teach young children and school-age children to tell a grown-up if they see matches or lighters. Children need to understand that fire is difficult to control, it is fast and can hurt as soon as it touches you.
A child with an interest in fire can lead to fire starting and result in repeated firesetting behavior.
It is important for grown-ups to discourage unsupervised fire starts.
Never use lighters or matches as a source of amusement for children; they may imitate you.
Never assign a young child any tasks that involve the use of a lighter or matches (lighting candles, bringing a lighter to an adult to light a cigarette or the fireplace, etc.
If your child expresses curiosity about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools for adults only.
September 14, 2018
Children & Fire
Safety Tips Part I
Children experience fire interest. They may ask questions such as how hot fire is or show an interest in fire through playing with fire trucks or cooking on a play stove. This is healthy, and it is time to begin educating about
Safety Reminders - Updated 11/16
Last updated: 2018-11-16 07:31:36