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Fire Safety Preparedness - An Ounce of Prevention!

Lorrie Streeter

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Each year there are many residential fires resulting in the loss of life and damage to property. The majority of fires are caused by incidents of smoking, cooking, children playing and the deliberate setting of fires. Most of them could have been prevented if proper fire safety precautions had been taken.

A few important and easy steps can be taken to prevent the majority of fires or to contain the damage to a minimum when a fire occurs.


  • use large ashtrays to eliminate ashes
  • check in and around furniture for dropped butts
  • dampen and dispose of butts into large tin cans as quickly as possible
  • do not smoke lying down or when drinking alcohol as drowsiness may occur
  • keep cigarettes, cigars, matches etc. out of reach of children
  • safely dispose of old matches and lighters


  • never leave cooking unattended - turn off the burner when leaving or answering the phone
  • don't cook while drinking alcohol or on medication that can cause drowsiness
  • wear tight fitting clothes when cooking
  • always use oven mitts when handling hot pots and pans - no dish towels please
  • never put flammable towels, mitts, etc. on the stove
  • never use the oven as storage space
  • keep pot handles turned in to prevent bumping or children grabbing them
  • heat cooking oil slowly while supervising carefully
  • if a pot catches on fire put a lid on it and turn off the stove - do not attempt to move the pot
  • call 911 if the flames do not go out

    Children Playing:

  • keep matches, lighters and smoking materials out of sight and reach of small children
  • teach older children the responsible and safe way to use matches or lighters
  • teach children not to play with the stove or other electrical heating elements
  • never leave lighted candles unattended or in reach of small children

    Other Fire Hazard Precautions:

  • have the fireplace chimney swept by a professional every spring
  • use extension cords with circuit breakers - never overload a circuit breaker
  • do not have electrical cords under carpets or hung from hooks
  • consider having your electrical panel inspected regularly by a master electrician

    Deliberately Set Fires:

  • have a quality security system in your home
  • have good lighting around your home and yard
  • when away have a someone monitor your home regularly
  • make sure your home always appears lived in
  • keep your home, garage and yard clear of rubbish and combustible items

    If a fire does occur in your home:

  • get down on hands and knees and crawl out - stay below the smoke
  • keep doors and windows closed
  • if clothes catch fire STOP, DROP AND ROLL to smother the flames
  • use a damp towel or cloth to protect exposed skin and/or cover nose and mouth to facilitate breathing
  • get out and stay out - call the fire department from outside

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!!

    Some things to keep in mind include:

  • plan and regularly practice a fire escape plan including an area to meet family members if you should get separated
  • have an emergency survival kit within easy reach if you need to evacuate your home - in the trunk of your vehicle is also a good place
  • always sleep with bedroom doors closed - this provides some protection against fire
  • keep at least one fire extinguisher within easy reach on each level of your home - know how to use it
  • keep doors and windows clear of obstructions for safe, easy exit
  • install a smoke detector on every level of your home - one close to bedroom doors
  • test your battery and electric smoke alarms each month
  • carefully clean your alarms every 6 months
  • charge the alarm battery at least once a year - twice is better
  • replace old alarms that no longer work
  • if alarms go off regularly for no apparent reason, consider moving them to a different area - away from direct heat sources

    Be Prepared - Before Disaster Strikes!

    At Survival Street our goal is to help you prepare for possible disasters. We aim to take the stress out of your emergency situation.

    We sell a wide range of high quality 72-hour Emergency Survival Kits, FIrst Aid Kits and Emergency Survival Gear. We invite you to visit us to see our high quality products and information

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