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Survive In Any Emergency

Get Out of Your Home Alive During A Fire

In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

The most important thing you can do is plan ahead. Have two routes of exit in case of a fire in your home. Have working fire and smoke detectors in your home on every floor. Test the unit every month and replace the batteries every year. Replace the smoke alarm every ten years, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Have a fire drill once a month as if your home really were on fire.

In the event your home is on fire, stay calm. If you are behind closed doors, do not open the door until after you feel it. If it is hot, do not open it. If it is cool, drop to the floor before you open it and crawl out to your escape route. If you are in the process of rescuing your family and help has not arrived, try getting a wet cloth and wrap it around your face while going to save your family. Do not stand up or run through the fire, crawl. All the smoke rises and will kill you faster than the flames will. Go to a safe place that has been predetermined before the fire and make sure everyone is present and accounted. Call for help from the safe place unless you were in a position to call while you were still in the home.

Teach your chidden fire safety and childproof your home. Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet. Tell your children tell you when they find matches and lighters. Check evidence to see if your child may be playing with fire. Develop a home fire escape plan, practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside. Teach your children that although fire is very useful, it is also very hot and dangerous. They should learn if in a fire not to hide from firemen. Show them how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire. Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground and roll if their clothes catch fire. Make your children become aware of the sound of your smoke alarm.

If you are burned, do not put ice directly on a burn. Do not put butter or any ointments on a burn. At best, run cool water over the burn until help arrives. If you are suffering from smoke inhalation, try to go inside a neighbor's home to get away from the smoke until help arrives.

Once you and your family members are out of a burning house, do not go back inside. Make sure you have insurance on your home or rental unit that covers fire. It would be wise if beforehand you had an extra emergency kit in a separate storage shed or garage. It is also a good idea to have all important documents in a fire/flood proof safe. Keep money in an emergency fund at the bank in case of such things where you are out of your home so you wll be able to stay in a motel until the insurance makes the proper arrangements.

Prevent a fire whenever possible. Keep wood stoves and fireplaces clean and clear of debris. Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist. Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials. Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces. Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures. Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.

Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire. Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke. Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove. When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.

Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house. Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home. Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home. Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris. Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark preventer Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents. Keep lawns trimmed, leaves raked, and the roof and rain-gutters free from debris such as dead limbs and leaves. Use fire-resistant draperies for added window protection . When using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home. Install water sprinklers which not only can save your life and property, but increases your property value.

It is not the end of the world if you lose your possessions. The key is to get out with your life.