Fire Extinguishers: Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers should be placed in the bedroom, kitchen, garage and workshop. Purchase an "ABC" type extinguisher for extinguishing all types of fires. Take the time to educate yourself and your older children on how to operate an extinguisher before you actually need to use it in an emergency! Keep fire extinguishers away from small children. If there is a large fire, get out of the house IMMEDIATELY and call 911 from another location...seconds can mean lives...the quicker you can alert the Fire Department, the faster they can do their job.
Prepare an Escape Plan: Post Emergency Numbers close to each phone in your home. Make sure your children know how to dial 911 if there is an emergency. Create a floor plan of your home. There should be a way to get out of each bedroom without opening the door. Conduct fire drills with your family regularly. Pick a meeting place a safe distance from your house where your family can gather for a head count. Make sure hallways, stairways and all escape routes are free of obstructions and combustible materials.
In Case of Fire: Leave your house immediately. Do not stop to collect any items in your house to take with you. Alert other occupants that there is a fire. Before you open a door, test it for heat by placing your hand on it first. If the door is warm or hot do not open it because there may be fire on the other side. Keep the door closed and find another way to exit your house. If there is smoke in the rooms you are trying to exit, stay as low to the ground as possible, even if that mean that you have to crawl on your stomach. Call 911 from another location and NEVER GO BACK INSIDE A BURNING BUILDING!!
Other Hazards: Keep all gas grills and barbeque grills at least 10 feet away from your house when cooking on them. Do not operate these grills on your porch or deck. Propane tanks should not be stored against or inside your house or garage, they should be left outside in an open area. Do not leave candles, fireplaces, space heaters or stoves unattended while they are lit or in operation. Keep combustible materials away from them at all times. Keep the lint screen for your dryer clean and the dryer vent should vent outside your home and no where else. Do not use a frayed or worn extention cord and do not run the extention cord under a rug. Don't overload electrical outlets. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and do not leave children unattended in the presence of fire in any form. Flammable liquids should only be stored in approved safety containers and they should not be kept in your house or garage. The best way to avoid smoking hazards is to stop smoking. Never smoke in bed. Use a large, deep ashtray for cigarette butts and do not let them pile up in the ashtray. Before you dispose of a cigarette, run water on the cigarette to make sure that it is properly extinguished.