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Are you ready for a Fire?

Information courtesy of:
American Red Cross
National Fire Prevention Association

Reprinted by Permission of the American Red Cross (1997)

Here’s what you can do to prepare for a Fire.

Make your home fire safe:

Smoke detectors save lives. Install a battery-powered smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
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. Get training from the fire department in how to use it. Also include in the kit written instructions on how to turn off your home’s utilities.
Conduct periodic tornado drills, so everyone remembers what to do when a tornado is approaching.

Plan your escape routes:

Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.
Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
Once you are out, stay out!

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 widow. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.

Plan and get ready:

Fire is one of the most common disasters. Fire causes more deaths than any other type of disaster. But fire doesn't have to be deadly if you have early warning from a smoke detector and everyone in your family knows how to escape calmly.

Please be serious about the responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire. Be prepared by having various household members do each of the items on the checklist below. Then get together to discuss and finalize your personalized Fire Plan.

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

New smoke detectors installed; batteries purchased:________(date)

Test smoke detectors once a month. Start a chart and sign it after each round of tests.

__________________(family member name) checks smoke detectors.

Look at the fire extinguisher you have to ensure 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 in how to use the fire extinguisher.
________________(family member name) examines extinguisher.

(family member names) have been trained to use the extinguisher.

Draw a floor plan of your home; mark two fire escape routes for each room.
Floor plan completed:_____________ (date)

Pick a safe outside place to meet after escaping from a fire.
Meeting place:_____________________________________

Practice a low-crawl escape from your bedroom. Try it with your eyes closed to see how well you could do in thick smoke.
Smoke escape drill conducted:__________________(date)

Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year.
Home fire drill conducted:_____________________(date)

And remember...when a fire, earthquake, flood, hurricane, or other emergency happens in your community, you can count on your local American Red Cross chapter to be there to help you and your family. That’s been the role of the Red Cross for more than 100 years.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has led the way to fire safety since 1896. The mission of the NFPA is protecting people, their property, and the environment from the effects of fire and related hazards.

Revised September 1993

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