As the holiday season approaches, it’s a good time to review fire safety with your family including how to safely put out fires using a portable fire extinguisher. These extinguishers are a valuable resource for immediate use on small fires. Should you need to use a fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method (Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep).
Fire Safety at Home
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, especially near sleeping areas.
- Smoke alarms should be kept clean of dust by regularly vacuuming over and around them.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. And replace the entire unit after ten years of service, or as the manufacturer recommends.
- Families should plan and practice two escape routes from each room of their home.
- Regularly inspect the home for fire hazards.
- If there are adults in the home who smoke, they should use heavy safety ashtrays and discard ashes and butts in metal, sealed containers or the toilet.
- If there is a fireplace in the home, the entire opening should be covered by a heavy safety screen. The chimney should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually.
- Children should cook only under the supervision of an adult or with their permission.
- Children should never play with electrical cords or electrical sockets. They should ask adults for help plugging in equipment.
- Children should stay away from radiators and heaters, and they should be taught that these devices are not toys. Young children in particular must be taught not to play with or drop anything into space heaters. Nothing should be placed or stored on top of a heater.
- Pots on stovetops should always have their handles turned toward the center of the stove, where children cannot reach up and pull or knock them off.
- Teach children to turn off lights, stereos, TVs, and other electrical equipment when they are finished using them. In the case of room heaters, children should ask an adult to turn it off when the room will be empty.
- Children should never touch matches, lighters, or candles. If they find matches or lighters within reach, they should ask an adult to move them.
- No one should stand too close to a fireplace or wood stove or other types of heaters, where clothes could easily catch fire.
Information obtained: FEMA.gov