House Fire Safety

Beware! Take Fire Prevention Care!

True or False:

A fire is something that happens...

  1. On a television newscast?
  2. To somebody else's home?
  3. To another person's business?
  4. In a remote location - away from you and your family?

If you said TRUE four times, we all have some work to do. Let's be realistic! If you've never been the victim of a fire or known someone who has, you are very fortunate. Let's keep it that way.

These few reminders may seem quite simple, and they are. But when you stop and think a moment, the simple basics can save lives, much suffering, and a great deal of property.

Exit Drills In The Home (E.D.I.T.H)
  1. Prepare a floor plan of your home showing at least two ways out of each room.
  2. Sleep with your bedroom door closed. It helps to hold back heat and smoke.
  3. Agree on a fixed location out-of-doors where family members are to gather for a head count.
  4. Make certain that no one goes back inside.
  5. Practice - Practice - Practice.
HOME FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST
PRE-FIRE PLANNING
Have you planned at least two ways to get out of every room in your home? ​ Yes​ No
Do you keep exit routes clear in your home? Yes ​No
​Do you know how to notify your fire department quickly and correctly in case of fire? Yes No
ESPECIALLY FOR CHILDREN
Do you make it a rule never to leave small children alone or unattended? Yes​ No
Do your baby-sitters (and you) know the first rule of safety in fire emergencies? --Get everybody out fast, and don't go back in ​Yes ​No
Do you show your baby-sitters the escape routes from your home, and give instructions on the correct way to report a fire? ​Yes ​No
GOOD SMOKING HABITS
Is smoking in bed strictly against the rule in your home? Yes​ No
Do you always make sure that cigarette, cigar and pipe ashes are completely extinguished before you dispose of them? Before going to bed, be SURE there are no cigarettes still burning. ​Yes ​No
​Are matches kept out of the reach of children? Keep matches and lighters above the "strike zone" (too high for children to reach). ​Yes ​No
HEATING AND COOKING
Are furnaces, stoves and smokepipes kept in good repair and located far enough away from combustible walls and ceilings so that they do not create a hazard? Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying. Yes​ No
If you have portable space heaters in your home do you see that they are properly maintained and located? Keep portable space heaters away from people, curtains, and furniture. ​Yes ​No
Do you have an annual inspection of your heating system? Have heating equipment checked and cleaned each year. ​Yes ​No
​Can you stop a cooking fire safely? Smother a pan fire with a lid. Never use water. If cooking oil starts to smoke, turn down the heat. Don't throw whatever's handy on the counter, such as dumping flower from the bag, on the fire (explosion!) ​Yes ​No
ELECTRICITY
Do you see that extension cords are never run under rugs or hooked over nails? Avoid using extension cords wherever possible (especially small-wired cords use with high-wattage appliances.) Yes​ No
When the breaker "trips" or a fuse blows, do you investigate WHY it happened? If a fuse blows (or a breaker "trips"), find the cause. Remove excess appliances (lamps, stereo components, space heaters, etc.) from a breaker circuit that frequently "trips". ​Yes ​No
Is the right size fuse (20 amps for lighting circuits) in each socket in the fuse box? Replace the fuse with one of the correct size. ​Yes ​No
​Is your TV well ventillated? Allow air space around the TV to prevent overheating. If it doesn't work right, it can be a fire danger. ​Yes ​No
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
Do you keep rubbish cleaned out of the attic, basement, closets, garage and yard? Sort and remove rubbish. Don't store things near the furnace or heater. Yes​ No
Are gasoline and other flammable liquids stored in safety cans, and kept well away from both heat and children? Move flammable liquids away from heat. Do not store flammable liquids in the home. Keep them stored outside and away from the house in a separate storage building. Don't fill a hot lawn mower or other motor; let it cool first. ​Yes ​No
If your home caught fire, would you know what to do? Would your children?

For a fire to exist there must be three things present.These three elements make up what is commonly called the FIRE TRIANGLE.

OXYGEN
FUEL
HEAT
OXYGEN

Oxygen is always present in the home. If, however, you can separate heat sources from combustibles, you will have taken the first step toward fire prevention.

HEAT SOURCES:

Anything that produces heat, for example...

  1. Stoves
  2. Heating appliances
  3. Fireplaces
  4. Damaged electrical wiring
FUEL SOURCES:

Anything that will burn, for example...Clothing, Furniture, Curtains,and Flammable liquids

If A Fire Should Occur In Your Home...
  1. Get out of the house.
    Familiarize yourself with at least two exits from each room; for example, one window and one door. Know where the exits are; practice using them.
  2. Have a meeting place located outside of the house.
    A fire is no time to be worrying about who made it out and who did not. By establishing a central meeting place outside the house, you can count heads and not have to wonder who might still be inside.
  3. Phone the fire department from a neighbor's house.
  4. Never go back inside for any reason!
    Once you are outside, do not go back inside. The fire department will be there in a matter of minutes. Stay at the meeting place and wait for the fire department.
In A Fire, Seconds Count!
  • For early detection of fires, install smoke detectors near your sleeping areas. If you have a multi-story house, install smoke detectors at each level in the home.
  • Design a home fire escape plan; practice using it.
  • Establishing EXIT DRILLS IN THE HOME (E.D.I.T.H.) will insure that everyone in the home will be familiar with the proper procedures should a fire occur.
  • If you have sleeping areas located on the second floor, provide an escape ladder or rope. Check these carefully to make certain they are safe.
  • Check windows that would be used in an escape to see that they open easily.
  • Crawl out on your hands and kneesShould you be caught in smoke, CRAWL! Smoke rises, so stay close to the floor where the air will be less toxic.
  • Clothing, should it ignite, will burn rapidly. If your clothes ignite, DO NOT RUN...STOP, DROP, AND ROLL!
REMEMBER, THE BEST STEP TO TAKE IS TO PREVENT FIRES FROM OCCURRING

Knowing what to do should fire occur is very important. More important still is the prevention of a fire. Take the time to inspect your home for possible safety hazards, bare wires, and improperly operating heating equipment.

Fire prevention is something the entire family may participate in. Encourage children to assist with checking the home for hazards

By taking the time to carefully inspect your home for possible hazards, you may prevent a major catastrophe later on.

If you would like assistance with designing a home escape plan, proper placement of smoke detectors, or a free home fire safety inspection, contact:

Fire Safety related questions may be referred to Alachua County Fire Rescue at 384-3101