From Press Reports
Thousands of Americans are injured or killed in fires every year. An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home. There are ways to prevent and survive a fire. It’s a matter of practicing and planning ahead, according to North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora.
GENERAL FIRE SAFETY TIPS Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes.
Test windows and doors — do they open easy enough? Are they wide enough. Or tall enough?
Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.
Practice alerting other members. It is good to keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.
CONDUCT A FAMILY MEETING Always sleep with the bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape.
Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm, such as yelling, pounding on walls or whistles.
In a fire, time is critical. Don’t waste time getting dressed, don’t search for pets or valuables. Just get out.
Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or gases may be enough to kill.
BE PREPARED, PLAN AHEAD Practice evacuating the home blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire most likely will make it difficult to see.
Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.
Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way.
Learn to stop, drop to the ground, roll if clothes catch fire.
ADDITIONAL TIPS Install smoke detectors Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a home. A smoke detector should be placed in every bedroom and kitchen area.
Space Heaters Need Space: Keep portable and space heaters at least three feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from space heaters.
Be Careful Cooking: Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight – fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inwards so they do not over-hang the stove. Also make sure all electrical cords to cooking devices are kept out of the reach of children. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off burner.
Matches and Lighters are Dangerous: In the hands of a child, matches and lighters can be deadly! Store them where kids can’t reach them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are “tools” and should only be used by adults.
Use Electricity Safely: If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse.
Be Careful of Halogen Lights: If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home.