Umatilla Rural Fire Protection District
Umatilla RFPD
PROTECTING LIVES AND PROPERTY
© Copyright 2015 Rob Tooley

December 14, 2018

Holiday Entertaining

Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.

• Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

• Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.

• Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.


December 7, 2018

Holiday Decorating

• Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

• Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.

• Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

• Keep decorations away from windows and doors.


November 30, 2018

Christmas Tree Safety

Picking the tree - Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree -
Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.
After Christmas
Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

November 23, 2018

Escape Planning Tips (Part 4 of 4)

Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.

Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.

In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.


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

Halloween safety tips that will make your night more of a treat and less of a trick include:

Costumes

  • Choose the right costume.  Try to stay away from long or flowing fabric.


Visibility

  • Provide flashlights to children or have them carry glow sticks as part of their costumes.

  • Make sure if a child is wearing a mask that the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out of them.

Decorations

  • 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.


Candles

  • Refrain from having an open flame.

  • Use battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in your jack-o-lanterns.

Exits

  • Remember to keep all decorations away from doors so that they are not blocking any exits or escape routes.

Smoke Alarms

  • Make sure all of your smoke alarms are working and up to date.

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.

Safety Reminders - Updated 12/14
Last updated: 2018-12-14 08:11:06