1. Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are designed to provide early warning in case of a fire and allow you time to escape. Install them in every bedroom, outside every bedroom, and on every level of your home. Test them every week, following the manufacturer’s directions. Unless your smoke alarm has a 10-year battery, replace batteries once a year or whenever an alarm chirps to signal that its battery is low. Don’t ever borrow alarm batteries for other uses – a disabled smoke alarm can’t save your life!
2. Plan & Practice Escape
If fire breaks out in your home, you must be able to get out of every room. Fire escape routes should not include elevators, which might take you right to the fire. Choose a meeting place outside where everyone will gather. Once you are out, stay out! At least twice a year, have the whole family practice the escape plan.
3. Space Heaters Need Space
Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet (1 meter) from anything that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed and keep children and pets away from them.
4. Smokers Need Watchers
Carelessly discarded cigarettes are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy! Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers and put water on cigarette butts before discarding them. Before going to bed, check under and around sofa cushions for smoldering cigarettes.
5. Be Careful Cooking
Never leave cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or close-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of pots turned inward so they can’t be knocked or pulled over. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames, then turn off the burner. Never put foil or other metals in a microwave oven.
6. Matches & Lighters Are Tools
In the hands of a child, matches and lighters are deadly. Store them up high where kids can’t reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach your children from the start that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys for kids. If children find matches or lighters, they should tell a grown-up immediately.
7. Use Electricity Safely
If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace any electrical cords that are cracked or frayed. Don’t overload extension cords or run them under rugs. Don’t tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of an improper size.
8. Cool A Burn
If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately.
9. Stop, Drop, & Roll
Everyone should know this rule: If your clothes catch fire, don’t run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs, and roll over and over to smother the flames.
10. Crawl Low Under Smoke
Smoke is dangerous! If you encounter smoke, use an alternate escape route. If you must exit through smoke, the cleanest air will be several inches off the floor. Crawl on your hands and knees to the nearest safe exit.