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   Domestic Preparedness
Home Fire Safety

Home Fire Safety     Make Your Home Fire Safe     Plan Escape Routes    Escape Safely

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Home Fire Safety

Fire is one of the most common disasters and causes more deaths than any other type of disaster. But fire does not have to be deadly if you take precautions and have an escape plan. Please be serious about the responsibility of planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire. Get together with household members to discuss and finalize a personalized Fire Plan. Practice your plan frequently. Here are some guidelines you can use in preparing your emergency plan:

Make your home fire safe

  • Smoke detectors save lives. Install smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your residence. Keep new batteries on hand.

  • Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary replace batteries immediately. Replace batteries at least once a year.

  • Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure it is properly charged.

  • Use the gauge or test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded, replace it or have it professionally serviced. Get training from the fire department on how to use the fire extinguisher.

  • Keep blankets, clothing, curtains, furniture and anything that could get hot and catch fire away from portable heaters.

  • Plug heaters directly into the wall socket and unplug them when they are not in use.

  • Keep items away from the stove that could catch fire.

  • Use safety plugs in electrical outlets, especially if you have small children.

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets and running cords under carpet and furniture.

Plan your escape routes

  • Draw a floor plan of your home. Determine at least 2 ways to escape from every room in your home.
  • If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.
  • Have a plan to escape if bars cover windows.
  • Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
  • Once you are out, stay out!
  • Know how to call for emergency assistance.

Escape safely

  • If you see smoke in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to escape.

  • If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, use your second way out.

  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.

You can help protect yourself and your family from the dangers of fire by planning NOW for an emergency. Be smart – be safe.

For additional information on home fire safety or to become a Disaster Resistant Neighborhood, please contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Domestic Preparedness, Lt. Robert Kurk, 269-657-7786.


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