Our online fire prevention site offers many valuable fire safety tips for you and your children.
The most important part of any firefighter's job is to make sure that their community stays informed on what they can do to make themselves safe.
This area will help adults and kids of all ages learn what they can do to make sure they are prepared in the event of an emergency.
While more than 90 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, nearly one-third of those alarms don't work. Non-working smoke alarms rob a home's occupants of all the protective benefits that house fire safety devices were designed to provide. Worn-out or missing batteries are the most common cited cause of non-working smoke alarms.
Changing smoke alarm batteries once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these fire deaths and injuries. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a house fire in half.
Each family member must know what to do in the event of a fire in their home. Unless a small fire can be easily controlled, it is recommended that fighting the fire be left to professional firefighters and that family members escape safely from the home.
A home escape plan must be created and practiced so that each person knows exactly what to do. It also is important to practice Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH).
Most residential fires occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Deaths from residential fires occur in greater numbers between midnight and 4 a.m. when most people are asleep. An average of 800 fires strike residential buildings each day in the United States. More than 6,500 persons die each year from fire - more than half of them children and senior citizens. The majority of these deaths are in home fires.
Regardless of the cause of the fire, a home may be filled with smoke. This is a very dangerous situation. Family members may be unable to see very well. The smoke and toxic gases may cause dizziness and disorientation. In the confusion, one can easily become lost or trapped in the home. Family members must understand that their safety depends upon quickly leaving the home. It has been proven that exit drills reduce chances of panic and injury in fires and that trained and informed people have a much better chance to survive fires in their home.
The following list is a guide to help you prepare for a disaster. This list is provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
The basics of survival: water, food and clean air are essential, but some of the following items may make a time of crisis more comfortable.
Flashlight and extra batteries
Battery powered radio and extra batteries
Plastic garbage bags, ties and toilet paper for personal sanitation
First aid kit
Map of the area for evacuation or for locating shelters
A whistle to signal for help
Clothing and Bedding
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies once a year to account for growing children and other family changes.
Have at least one complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person including:
A jacket or coat
A long sleeve shirt
A hat and gloves
A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or a print out of this information
Mess kits, or paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
Cash or traveler's checks, change
Non-electric can opener, utility knife
Fire extinguisher: small canister, ABC type
Matches in a waterproof container
Plastic storage containers
Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
Toilet paper, towelettes
Personal hygiene items
Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
Plastic bucket with tight lid
Household chlorine bleach
You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
Important Family Documents
Keep copies of important family records such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
Automobile Fire Safety
Fire deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents are estimated at 650 to 750 annually. Motor vehicles are constructed with a variety of synthetic and often flammable materials, that burn very hot and produce harmful gases. Gasoline and other flammable fluids are also present. Some parts of a vehicle can burst or explode when heated by a fire, sending debris a great distance. These are precisely why firefighters wear full protective gear and breathing apparatus when confronting a vehicle fire. Without this type of protection the average citizen is very vulnerable to serious injuries or worse.
• Nearly 25% of all reported fires were in motor vehicles, resulting in 17% of all fire-related deaths.
• In 1992, there were 405,000 vehicle fires in the United States.
• Only 2% of vehicle fires are caused by collisions but represent 64% of vehicle-fire deaths.
• The majority of vehicle fire deaths occurred in "survivable" crashes. Use seat belts regularly.
• Currently, the #1 rescue operation for firefighters is trapped crash victims in vehicles.
• Catalytic converters operate at about 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit under normal conditions, but have been tested at up to 4,000 degrees in a poorly tuned car.
• One gallon of gasoline has the explosive potential of thirty sticks of dynamite.
Regularly check the hoses, gaskets, and fittings on your engine for any leaks or cracks.
Place a multipurpose fire extinguisher in your car and make sure it is easily seen and accessible.
A catalytic converter is part of your car's exhaust system, after the engine, and before the muffler. Be aware of this high temperature heat source and take care not to park where "burnables" may come in contact with it.
Maintain your car according to manufacturer's specification. If you notice unusually high fuel consumption, changes in your cars performance, or sense strange odors coming from the vehicle, have it checked out by a professional.
Use your ash tray, rather than an open window. Cigarettes do not self-extinguish and are the cause of most open area fires.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOUR CAR IS ON FIRE
If the hood or dash begins smoking, pull over and turn off the engine.
Move quickly away from a burning automobile and remain at a safe distance. Call 9-1-1.
If there are visible flames in the engine compartment, DO NOT RAISE THE HOOD, it could flash over and cause you serious injury.
If you have a fire extinguisher, stick the nozzle through the front grill and spray the engine area thoroughly, then wait for the fire department at a safe distance from your car.
With today's new vehicle designs that include Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS), reinforced safety glass and other improved features, their are a few things you need to know.
Always make sure that you drive with your seat belt fastened. Seats belt keep passengers from being thrown from the vehicle during a collision.
Make sure that you do not sit too close to a steering wheel or dashboard that has air bags.
Keep small children, especially car seats, out of the front seats. Always place small children and car seats in the rear of the vehicle.
Remain in your vehicle after an accident unless there is imminent danger. Wait for paramedics to arrive and give you further instructions.