- 80% of homes today have Smoke Alarms
- of the 80%, only 48% of those are working
Most fatal fires happen at night when people are sleeping.
A working smoke alarm will detect smoke and sound to alert you.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and near each sleeping area. Replace alarms that are more than 10 years old and periodically test your alarm (by pressing the alarms "test" button).
Every 6 months, replace the alarm's batteries. One way to remember is to change batteries every time there's a Daylight Savings Time Adjustment - CHANGE YOUR CLOCK/CHANGE THE BATTERIES. Smoke Detectors with 10 year batteries are readily available where detectors are sold.
Don't have a Smoke Alarm? The Pinole Fire Department will provide (and install) a free smoke detector in your home. Additional detectors may be purchased at a minimal cost. Call (510) 724-8969 during normal business hours for more information.
When used properly, an extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until firefighters arrive.
There are three basic classes of fire extinguishers...
- Class A: Ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, rubbish, drapes and upholstery.
- Class B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oils, solvents, paints and flammable gases.
- Class C: Electrical fires involving Class "A" or Class "B" materials and live electrical power - overheated wiring, fuse boxes, stoves, motors etc.
Be certain that you use the correct type of extinguisher for the fire you are fighting. If you use the wrong type of of extinguisher, you can endanger yourself and even make the fire worse.
Install your extinguishers in plain view, above the reach of children, near an exit route, and away from stoves and heating appliances.
Only fight a fire if:
- the fire is small and not spreading
- occupants have been alerted
- everyone has left or is leaving the building
- 9-1-1 has been called
- you have a clear escape route that won't be blocked by fire
- you know how to operate your extinguisher and are aware of its capabilities
Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room. Plan a main escape route and an alternate escape route from each room, especially bedrooms. When fire strikes, a planned step-by-step escape route can reduce panic and confusion.
Arrange an outside meeting place and a safe location to call 9-1-1. The best place to meet is in front of your home, where firefighters will arrive.
Conduct a fire drill at least once every six months. The best place to start your fire drill is from a bedroom. Sound the alarm and get everyone in the home to participate. In a real fire, you must be prepared to move quickly and carefully without confusion. Don't rush through the drill. Make sure everyone knows exactly what to do. After the drill, discuss what took place and how to improve performance.
- Crawl low under smoke - Heat and smoke rise so the air by the floor is the coolest and clearest. If you encounter smoke or flames while evacuating, stay close to the floor. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit (teach children that they should crawl if smoke is present)..
- Test every door - Before opening any door, make sure it is safe to do so. Reach up with the back of your hand to touch the door, the door handle, and the space between the door and frame. If any of them feel hot, use your alternate exit. If everything feels cool, brace your shoulder against the door and open it carefully. Be ready to close it quickly if heat or smoke rush in. As you leave, close all doors behind you. Closed doors restrain the deadly speed of smoke and fire!
- If you are trapped - Close doors between you and the fire. Use blankets or towels to cover vents and cracks between floors and doors. Wait at a window and signal for help by using a flashlight or by waving a bright coloured sheet or cloth. If there is a phone in the room, call 9-1-1, and tell them exactly where you are.
- If your clothes catch fire - If your clothing catches fire: stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll back and forth to put the fire out (teach your children how to do this). Immediately cool a burn with cool running water under a tap for five to ten minutes and then seek medical attention.
Once outside and at the designated meeting place, no one re-enters the burning house. Firefighters are equipped and trained to handle rescue operations and they will let you know when it is safe to go back into the house. Get out and stay out!
National Fire Protection Association
National Fire Protection Association
- Keep laundry lint filters and hoses clean - they are a common source of fires.
- Never leave candles unattended or within reach of pets or small children.
- Space heaters need space - keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
- Never leave cooking unattended. If a pot catches fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner. Never put water or flour on a grease fire.
- Check electrical cords for cracking. Don't overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under rugs or carpet.
- Don't use gas-fueled applieances or an open stove to heat your house. They are a fire hazard and also a source of deadly carbon monoxide.
- Install at least one carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas. There are several types of detectors, including battery-operated and plug-in models. Install the carbon monoxide detector according to the manufacturer’s instructions.