Use these guidelines to perform a home safety inspection. Devise an escape route. Have a plan. Preparation saves lives.
- Gas-fired water heaters should be 18" off the garage floor and strapped to the wall with easy access to gas shut off.
- Do not hang or store flammable materials on or near a gas-fired water heater.
- Store flammable and combustible liquids and gases away from heat or spark producing equipment.
- If needed, store gasoline in an approved safety can.
- Do not overload electrical cords or circuits.
- Never use frayed or damaged extension cords.
- Use only the proper gauge extension cord for the job. (12 or 14 gauge for heavy duty use)
- Safely store pesticides, fertilizers, cleaning agents and building supplies on level and secure shelving. Keep out of reach of children.
- Keep a fire extinguisher inside the garage near an exit.
- Keep dryer and dryer vent clean and free from excess lint.
- Check garage door's operation and safety features often.
- Keep stove, oven and hood vent free of grease and dirt buildup.
- Don't use the stove top for added counter space.
- Turn cooking handles away from the front of the cook top to keep out of the reach of children and avoid accidental spills.
- When cooking always have the lid of the pot close at hand. The lid can smother a food or grease fire.
- Properly store all cleaning agents, check label for health hazard and flammability and store accordingly.
- Do not leave kitchen appliances on when no one is home.
- Always use a timer when using the oven.
- Install a multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- When possible, replace extension cords with surge suppressing power strips that are equipped with a circuit breaker.
- Secure furniture and entertainment equipment to wall or floor to prevent damage or injury.
- Keep a fireplace in good working condition.
- Burn only dry seasoned wood or commercial fire logs in fireplace.
- Do not burn garbage, plastics, grass or Christmas tree trimmings in fireplace.
- Keep all combustible material at least 36" away from fireplace opening.
- Keep matches out of the reach of children.
- Make sure all exits from the home are clear and not blocked by stored items or furniture.
- A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.
- Do not smoke in bed!
- Dispose of smoking materials in a metal container - not in a waste basket.
- Keep at least one smoke alarm on every level of a home.
- Install a smoke alarm in all hallways that lead to sleeping areas and in each bedroom.
- Smoke alarms checked each month and the batteries replaced annually or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Doors and windows should be in good working condition. A door can be used to slow fire and smoke spread. Windows can be used as a means of escape in the event of severe fire and smoke conditions.
The speed of fire is phenomenal. During the first minute of a fire it spreads at a 100 percent rate. In two minutes, 300 percent. And in four minutes, 1,100 percent. This is all the time available to wake up and get out. It's the lack of time that kills! An escape plan is imperative.
- Create at least two different escape routes for each family member. Practice them with the entire family.
- When practicing the escape, close the doors. Closed doors slow the spread of fire.
- Remember to practice crouching down low to avoid breathing in smoke.
- Make sure children understand and recognize a smoke alarm signal.
- Have a designated meeting place outside.
- When all members are outside, STAY OUTSIDE. Under no circumstance should anyone go back into a burning home.
- Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house.