Home Fire Safety
A fire at home is a nightmare that we all hope we will never have to face. A home fire will not only destroy property, it can also destroy lives and families. The most effective way to avoid this is to prevent fires in your home and most importantly, know how to react to a fire in your home! Contact us for more information at (970)350-9510.
- A fire will break out in 1 in every 10 homes in America every year.
- 70%-80% of all fire deaths and injuries occur in homes.
Use the following checklist to prevent fires in your home.
- Is your stove top clean and free of clutter?
- Are your counter-top appliances in good repair (cords too)?
- Do you have adequate electrical circuits for heat-producing appliances?
- Are wall receptacle outlets protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's) in areas such as bathrooms, garages, kitchens, outdoors, and basements?
- Are your portable fire extinguishers fully charged?
- If you have a fireplace, does it have screen to catch sparks?
- Are space and Portable heaters at least three feet away from walls and anything else that can burn?
- If anyone smokes in your home, do you have large, deep, non-tip ashtrays?
- Are matches and lighters locked away up high out of children's reach?
- Are your fuses or circuit breakers rated higher than the ampacity (rated capacity) of the wires connected to them?
- Has your heating system been serviced professionally in the past 12 months?
- Has your chimney been inspected or cleaned in the past 12 months?
- Are paints, gasoline, and other flammable liquids tightly sealed and stored away from flames and sparks?
- Do you have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home?
- Do your smoke alarms work (test them)?
- Have you considered installing an automatic home fire sprinkler system in your home?
- Are any smoke alarms in your home more than 10 years old (if so, replace them).
Smoke Detectors and Home Escape Plans Why should my home have smoke alarms?
In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and the lives of your loved ones. They are the single most important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety features you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family and your home. Okay, where do I put them?
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside the sleeping area. Also, smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or 6 to 8 inches below the ceiling on sidewalls. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. Where would I get smoke alarms?
Many hardware, home supply or general merchandise stores carry smoke alarms. Make sure the alarm you buy is UL-listed. If you are unsure where to buy one in your community, call your Greeley Fire Department at (970)350-9510. How do I keep my smoke alarms working?
Smoke alarms are very easy to take care of. There are two steps to remember.
What if the alarm goes off while I'm cooking?
- Simply replace the batteries at least once a year. Tip: Pick a holiday or your birthday and replace the batteries each year on that day. Some smoke alarms now on the market come with a ten-year battery. These alarms are designed to be replaced as a whole unit, thus avoiding the need for battery replacement. If your smoke alarm starts making a "chirping" noise, replace the batteries and reset it.
- Keep them clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation, so vacuum over and around your smoke alarm regularly.
Then it's doing its job. Do not disable your smoke alarm if it alarms due to cooking or other non-fire causes. You may not remember to put the batteries back in the alarm after cooking. Instead, clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place. The alarm may have to be moved to a new location. Anything else I should know?
Some smoke alarms are considered to be "hard wired." This means they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have battery back-up. It's important to test every smoke alarm monthly. And always use new batteries when replacing old ones. Have an Escape Plan and PRACTICE IT!!
Draw a floor-plan of your home marking two ways out of every room, including windows. Discuss the escape routes with every member of your household.
Agree on a meeting place outside of your home, this is so that you can tell if some one is missing.
Practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Make your fire drill realistic; pretend that some exits are blocked by fire and practice using alternative escape routes. Also practice with the lights out or with a blindfold to simulate heavy smoke.
In case of fire, follow these steps to get out alive:
1) Stay low, do not stand up. If you are in bed, roll out and crawl low on the floor under the smoke.
2) Crawl to the door using the wall as a guide. Check doors for heat with the back of your hand before opening.
3) If a door is cool when you touch it, open it only a crack so it can be shut quickly if there is flames or smoke on the other side.
4) If the door is hot or smoke is seeping underneath, Do Not Open The Door. Push a blanket, towel, robe or other heavy clothing in the crack.
5) Using the wall as a guide, crawl to a window and open it. Climb out the window if you can, or call for help.
6) Once you are outside, stay out. Never return for something you forgot or to look for other people or a pet. Go to your meeting place and let the fire department know if any one is missing. Only firefighters have the training, experience and equipment to enter a burning building.