General Safety Guidelines
General safety guidelines for your home
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Table of Contents
General Safety Tips / Maintenance
- Have working smoke detectors on every level of the home and in each bedroom.
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and replace the batteries at least yearly. Purchase a new smoke detector if it is at least 10 years old.
- Have a fire escape plan that includes at least two exits from each room and plan for assistance if you are limited in your ability to move quickly. Include notification of your local Fire Department in your plan.
- Have a place to meet in the front of your home.
- Never leave a candle burning unattended.
- Do not smoke in bed.
- Do not stockpile old newspapers or cleaning cloths near a heat source.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near sleeping areas.
In Case of Fire
- Call 911 and leave the building immediately.
- Feel doors for warmth or look for smoke seeping under the door before opening.
- If you see smoke or feel warmth, do not open the door and use another escape route.
- If you can’t escape, stuff cloths around the door and vents to keep smoke out.
- CRAWL if you must exit through smoke.
- STOP, DROP, AND ROLL if clothing catch on fire.
- Know their limitations! A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives, but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.
- Safety Tips. 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.
- What type of extinguisher should I have? 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 training.
- E.D.I.T.H (Exit Drills In The Home)
- 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 a safe escape.
- Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
- Practice your escape plan twice a year with the whole family.