October 02, 2009 –
MAYETTA: Next week is National Fire Safety Week and the Potawatomi Tribal Fire Department wants to offer the following fire safety tips to help you reduce the chances of fire and injuries in the home or workplace.
1. Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.
Keep things that can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from any cooking surface. Before cooking, roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. Loose-fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire.
2. Store matches and lighters out of reach of children.
Many young children are badly burned or die playing with matches and lighters. Store these items out of children’s access.
3. Space heaters need space.
Keep them at least three feet away from things that can burn, such as curtains, stacks of newspaper and furniture. Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
4. Smoke outside.
If you must smoke, smoke outside and discard smoking material in appropriate receptacles.
5. Make a fire escape plan for your family and practice it!
Find two exits out of every room. Pick a meeting place outside. Practice makes perfect — hold a family fire drill at least twice each year. In the event of a fire, once you are out of the structure, never go back in! Think of children and also the elderly, could they open a window in case they need to exit?
6. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.
Smoke detectors need to be installed on every level of your home. They should be installed near sleeping areas. Test them monthly to make sure they work. Replace the batteries once a year. Smoke detectors are your first line of defense when you are sleeping. Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in residential fires.
7. Teach every family member to “Stop, Drop, and Roll”
If your clothes catch fire, drop immediately to the ground, place your hands over your face and roll over and over or back and forth to put out the flames. Seek medical attention for serious burns.
8. Keep things that can burn away from your fireplace or wood stove.
Also keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks or embers from igniting combustibles.
9. Make sure that heat sources are professionally inspected every year.
Have your chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves and furnaces inspected once a year. Make sure they are safe before using them.
10. Install fire extinguishers in your home.
Fire extinguishers can extinguish small fires before it can build deadly heat and smoke so you and your family can escape safely, and limit damage to the home. The combination of working smoke alarms and home fire extinguishers reduces the likelihood of death from fire by more than 80 percent.