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Does your household have fire emergency protocols? Fire is the fourth largest accidental killer in the United States. It is also the disaster that families are most likely to experience. Seven people die each day in reported U.S. home fires. Is your home fire safe? Are you aware of the latest life saving home technology?
Kitchen Fire Safety
Watch what you put on the stove! Cooking is the leading cause of house fires in the nation. An electric coil reaches a temperature of 800 degrees. A gas flame goes over 1000 degrees. Your dish towel or potholder can catch fire at only 400 degrees. So can your bathrobe, apron, or other loose clothing! You should never put anything on the stove you don't want to heat and never leave cooking unattended. Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly. Wipe and clean spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool. Keep a fire extinguisher mounted nearby. Watch your children closely while they are in the kitchen; keep all pot handles pointed toward the back of the stove and use back burners whenever possible. Never pour water on a grease fire-it scatters the flame. Cover the pot with a lid or close the oven door and turn the stove/oven off.
Learn how to use your fire extinguisher before there is an emergency. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage and workshop. Purchase an ABC type for extinguishing all types of fires. Remember, use extinguishers on small fires only. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call your fire department.
In many older homes, the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with today's modern appliances. Overloaded electrical systems invite fire. Watch for those overloaded signals; dimming lights when an appliance goes on. A shrinking TV picture. Slow heating appliances (like a toaster.) Fuses blowing frequently. Check for frayed insulation, damaged cords, loose connections, and loose wall receptacles.
Never put synthetic fabrics, plastic, rubber or foam in your dryer, because they retain heat. Clean the lint screen before and after use. Dryers must have a vent to the outside and plugged into their own outlet. Never leave home with the dryer running.
Install a smoke alarm on each level of your home or apartment and in every sleeping area. Smoke is responsible for 3 out of 4 fire deaths. Keep smoke alarms dust free and change batteries at least once a year. Test all smoke alarms once a month.
Professional Home Security
Finally, the best thing you could do to protect yourself against fires is to install a professional home security system. Home technology saves thousands of lives every year, and it’s only getting better. Sensors and cameras around your home detect the source of the fire and alert authorities immediately, even if you’re not home. With a modern security system, you are also protected from burglaries and alert authorities automatically in case of any dangers or injuries. 76% of all preventable injury-related deaths happen in homes. Don’t be sorry, be safe!
In Case of Fire
First thing is... do not panic! Open doors carefully only after feeling them to see if they are hot. Stay close to the floor as smoke and hot gases rise. Breathe through a cloth and take short, shallow breaths. Follow your pre-planned escape route. Remember, being prepared could save your life and those you love!