911

Children you should know your name, your address, your phone number and your parents’ names. Stay on phone until you are told to hang up.

Dispatch will ask what the emergency ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Babysitting

When a babysitter arrives to a house the first time, he/she should arrive early.  He/she should have enough time to become familiar with the house and escape plan in there is one.  They should ask any questions about rules, tricky windows, or locked doors.  They should check for any possible hazards like lighters, cigarettes or smoldering ashes.  They should always get emergency contact information from the parents.  They should make sure the porch light works, and the house numbers are clearly displayed.  Their primary job is to keep the children safe. 

If a fire starts they should get out, and stay out; their job is not to fight the fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ safety    

 

More than 500 fires occur annually, and about 20 people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. Hoses should be checked for any holes, or cracks.  Gas hoses should be kept clear of any hot surfaces or hot grease. A grill should never be used indoors.   A grill should be used at least 10 feet away from any building, or overhanging branches. The top lid should be opened before the gas is turned on, otherwise gases can accumulate and cause a violent explosion.

Each year, there are about 400 injuries treated in the emergency room and about 20 deaths, as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from charcoal grills. Charcoal should never be burned inside the home.  Since CO is released until coals are completely extinguished, the grill should not be stored inside with freshly used coals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bicycle safety                        

Each year, more than 500,000 people in the US are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle-related injuries. The best way to make sure a bicycle is the right size is to have the rider straddle the top bar of the bike so that both feet are flat on the ground.  There should be 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) of space between the rider and the top bar. The bike seat should be adjusted so that after sitting on the seat with the foot on the bike pedal, his/her knee will be slightly bent.

 

Bike riders should always wear a helmet, a helmet should: sit level on one’s head not tilted forwards or backwards, straps should fasten snugly under the chin, and the helmet should be replaced every five years or after a blow to the head or accident involving the helmet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burns                                            

A burn injury usually results from an energy transfer to the body. There are many types of burns caused by thermal, radiation, chemical, or electrical contact: 

Thermal burns - burns due to external heat sources which raise the temperature of the skin and tissues and cause tissue cell death or charring. Hot metals, scalding liquids, steam, and flames, cause thermal burns, when they come into contact with the skin.

Radiation burns - burns due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, or to other sources of radiation such as x-ray.

Chemical burns - burns due to strong acids, alkalies, detergents, or solvents coming into contact with the skin and/or eyes.

Electrical burns - burns from electrical current, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).  See Cool a Burn for treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camp fires      

The site for a campfire should be selected carefully.  A five foot perimeter should be cleaned of all debris on relatively flat land.  A campfire should never be left unattended.  Only dry wood should be used, pine cones and needles might burn quickly but they also produce excess smoke.  In addition many campgrounds have rules prohibiting the gathering of firewood from the park floor, check the park rules. The campers should make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the area.  Campers should always check with the park rangers about the rules If you remove the fire hazards from your home you can limit the risk to yourself, your family, your neighbors and to firefighters,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. regarding camp fires. 

 

 

 

 

 

 Candles

The USFA currently estimates that candles are responsible for approximately 10,000 residential fires each year, along with 1,000 civilian injuries, 85 fatalities and $120 million in property loss. 

A candle should never be left burning unattended.  A candle should be placed on a stable heat resistant surface, away from combustibles.  Wicks should be trimmed to ¼ of an inch before they are lit. A candle should be extinguished if it smokes excessively, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high. A candle should not be burned longer than the manufacturer recommends.  A consumer should always read the hazard labels on the candle. 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon Monoxide

Every year 1,500 people die of CO poisoning, and 10,000 others need medical attention because of it. CO is a colorless, odorless gas created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. 

Cooking and heating equipment are possible sources of carbon monoxide.  Also running the car in an internal garage can produce hazardous levels of CO.  Household CO detectors respond to how much CO has accumulated.   Most are programmed to sound the alarm when the concentration in the room corresponds to a level of 10% carboxyhemoglobin level in the blood.  Hopefully the alarm will sound before people feel sick. 

Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with flu symptoms and include the following: shortness of breath, mild nausea, and mild headaches.     Moderate levels for a long time can ultimately lead to death.  Symptoms include: headaches, dizziness, nausea, and lightheadedness.  High levels can be fatal with-in a few minutes. 

People can help prevent and recognize CO poisoning, by installing CO detectors. If someone has the symptoms of CO poisoning, they should be removed from the area immediately.  Home owners should  have fuel burning household heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves, and space or portable heaters) checked every year before cold weather sets in. All chimneys and chimney connectors should be evaluated for proper installation, cracks, blockages or leaks.  Repairs should be made before using the equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon monoxide detectors

One CO detector should be placed near all sleeping areas.  Alarms should not be installed within 15 feet of cooking or heating appliances or in damp areas like the bathroom.

 

 

 

 

Cool a burn

This should be used anytime someone gets burned by touching a hot object or liquid.  Cool the area with cool water for 10-15 minutes. Cold water or ice should NOT be used. Do not use butter or burn cream to treat a burn.  This just helps seal in the heat.

Children’s skin is thinner than that of adults and burns at lower temperatures and more deeply.  For example, a child exposed to hot tap water at 140°F for 2-5 seconds will sustain a third-degree burn. Compared to 5-10 seconds for an adult. Most hot water heaters that come from the factory are set to 140°F. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chimneys                                           

Putting a chimney cover or chimney cap on top of a flue can save a lot of money in the long run. The covers keep out damaging moisture, which wears away masonry and steel chimneys -- not to mention that they keep those birds and other critters out.  If a critter makes his or her home in the chimney it can lead to CO accumulating in the house.   Chimneys should be inspected once a year by a certified chimney sweep, to prevent the accumulation of creosote.  

Only seasoned hardwood should be burned in a fireplace; soft moist wood accelerates creosote build-up. Always use a metal mesh screen, and leave glass doors open (according to NFPA).  Homeowners should never leave their fire burning when they go to bed or leave the house.

Following a violent storm, earthquake, flood or lightning strike, have your chimney inspected for damage -- inside and out. This includes checking for cracks and fallen bricks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holidays

         Decorations

There are plenty of homemade decorations that are made of cardboard and tissue paper. These objects should never be placed near any type of heating element.  This includes tree lights, heaters, heat vents, candles, and fireplaces.   People tend to use more candles during the holidays.  It is good to remind people to not wear loose fitting clothing around candles, or the stove since clothes can easily catch fire.

            Lights

Purchase only UL approved lights.   Check all lights for frayed or worn cords.  Never use lights that have an empty socket.  Outdoor lights should only be used outdoors.  Mini-lights produce the least amount of heat.  Do not overload electrical circuits, surge protectors should be used whenever necessary.  They should always follow the manufacturers’ directions.  Lights should be turned off when the occupants leave or go to bed.

Trees

In 1998, there were 300 Christmas trees fires in U.S. homes, resulting in 11 injuries and $8 million in direct property damage. Place the tree away from heating sources heat vents, or fireplaces.  There should always be water in the base. When the tree is first brought home the trunk should be recut.   The tree should not be kept more than 2 weeks.   A fresh tree’s needles will not be easy to break, they will bend instead.  Residents should never use candles to decorate a tree.

 

 

 

Cigarette Ashes disposal                  

Cigarettes burn around 752°F (400°C) without drawing. They are designed to keep burning, even when they don’t have someone inhaling them.  They are ideal to start a fire.  There are newer brands that do not keep burning.  Certain states are working to make sure these are the only type of cigarettes sold.  (New York is the first state to pass this law.)  Ashes should be disposed of in a metal container; or wet with water before they are disposed of in the trash.  They can smother for over 48 hours.

 

 

 

 

Cooking

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires.  When cooking stews, soups, roasts, or cakes, residents should use a timer to help them remember when something is on the stove or in the oven.  Never leave something cooking on the stove, even if the phone rings.  Either let it ring or turn off the stove. Cooking fires should be smothered with a lid or baking soda.  Water should never be used on a grease fire it will simply spread the flames.  Don’t store flammable objects by the stove.  Many people store potholders and towels near the stove.  Residents should never leave the house with food on the stove or in the oven.

Be careful removing liquid from the microwave, superheating can occur.  Superheating is when liquids are very hot, without the appearance of boiling. (Disturbing the surface of the liquid can cause violent boiling, and people are easily burned.)  Also the steam from the dishes can burn.

Pot handles should be turned toward the back of the stove, so pots will not be knocked off or pulled down by children. Younger children should not be permitted to play by the stove or oven. Keep the stove and hood clean.  The grease that builds up is excellent fuel for a fire. 

 

 

 

 

Crawl low in smoke

Teach children how to respond to the fire alarm.  They should roll out of bed, crawl low to the door.  They should feel the door with the back of their hand, while they are still low to the ground!   If the door is hot they should go to their second exit (the window.)  If the door is cool, they should open the door slowly, and be ready to slam it shut just in case too much smoke starts to enter the room.  If the hallway is clear they should proceed, still crawling, to the exit.  If not they should go out the window or secondary exit.  They should have made an escape plan with their parents to identify two ways out of every room.  The escape plan should be practiced, this helps identify hazards such as blocked exits or hard to open windows.

The younger boys and girls are often confused about how to respond to the smoke detector; many of them think they should stop drop and roll.

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster survival kits

Survival kits should be prepared for at least 3 days of survival.   These should be prepared with a variety of disasters in mind: earthquakes, floods, fires, biological or chemical attacks.   They should have a change of clothes for each member of the household, blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, battery powered radio, first aid kit, prescription medicines, and toilet articles.  There should also be a supply of water: a gallon of water per day, per person.  Food is also important; a family may not be able to leave their home for 3 days.   Canned food and dried food that can be easily prepared is good to have on hand.  Just remember to pack that can opener!  Don’t forget to pack those essential items for infants, such as formula and diapers.  It is good to have some sort of entertainment on hand for example, decks of card, coloring books, or board games.    Homeland security also suggests having a supply of duct tape and heavy duty trash bag to seal up the windows.   The kits should be updated every six months, water should be changed, and expiration dates on medications and food should be checked.    It is good to keep the kit somewhere accessible.  Homeland security suggests keeping an additional one in your car; you never know where you might be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dryer safety          

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 15,500 fires associated with clothes dryers occur annually. These fires account for an average of 10 deaths and 310 injuries and more than $84.4 million in property damage annually. 

What causes some clothes dryer fires? Lack of maintenance is a contributing factor. People just aren't cleaning lint traps as often as they should.  They also aren’t checking and cleaning vent systems on a periodic basis. Reduced airflow resulting from lint buildup in the screen or other areas around the dryer can cause the dryer to perform poorly, operate at elevated temperatures and possibly overheat.

Problems can also occur if consumers place improper items in their dryers, such as foam backed rugs or athletic shoes, or vent their appliances with plastic, vinyl or aluminum foil exhaust materials.  Don’t forget to read manufacturers' warnings in care manuals that accompany dryers. Also, warning markings can usually be found on the inside of the dryer's lid and take only minutes to read.

 

 

 

Earthquakes

There are many types of fire related hazards present during and after and earthquake.  Appliances, furniture, household products, and chimneys can shift, fall or spill.  Gas, chemical and electrical hazards may be present.  Leaking gas lines, damaged flammable liquid containers can ignite or explode.  Pools of water or even appliances can be electrically charged.  Any spills of flammable liquids should be cleaned in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources.   Power should be turned off only if someone can safely get to the main breaker box.   All wires on the ground should be assumed to be electrically charged, including cable TV feeds.  A licensed electrician should check the home fore any damage.  Smell for leaky gas connections, if there is a gas leak, leave the house immediately with the doors open.  Never strike a match or light candles without first making sure there is no gas leak.   Hopefully the family will be able to safely locate their disaster survival kit!

 

 

 

 

Electrical issues

Many fires result from defects in, or misuse of, the power delivery system. Wiring often fails due to faulty installation, overloading, physical damage, aging and deterioration by chemical action, heat, moisture and weather. Such wiring should be replaced and new circuits installed.

Overloading circuits by hooking on more electrical devices than they are designed to handle is a typical problem. Do not overload circuits. Dimmed lights, reduced output from heaters and poor television pictures are all symptoms of an overloaded circuit.  If the lights flicker when the AC turns on the electrical system should be inspected by a licensed professional. Add up the wattage of electrical devices and lights on each circuit. Keep the total load at any one time safely below maximum capacity. When using a high wattage device such as a heater, iron or power tool, switch off all unnecessary lights and devices. Try to connect into a circuit with little electrical power demand.  It is hazardous to overload electrical circuits by using extension cords and multi-plug outlets. Use extension cords only when necessary and make sure they are heavy enough for the job. Avoid creating an octopus by inserting several plugs into a multi-plug outlet connected to a single wall outlet.

If a fuse blows or circuit breaker trips repeatedly while in normal use (not overloaded), check for shorts and other faults in the line or devices. Do not resume use until the trouble is fixed. Use extension cords heavy enough to carry required wattage to the devices in use. Use grounded extensions for three-prong equipment. Each circuit must be protected by a fuse or circuit breaker that will blow or break when its safe carrying capacity is surpassed. Any circuit will take a temporary overload, like when a motor starts. Time delay (slow blow) fuses will handle this. Circuit breakers provide time delay and are the preferred type of protection for general use.   Extension cords and appliances should all be UL listed.

If an electrical fire is small a fire extinguisher that is classified for electrical fires can be used.   An ABC fire extinguisher can be used to put out an electrical fire; water should never be used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Escape plan

Ask them if they ever have fire drills at school; explain to them they should have fire drills at home too.  Encourage them to go home and create a home escape plan, including two exits out of every room. Tell them to practice just like they do for school fire drills.  Talk about a safe meeting place

 

 

 

 

                                                                                       

Extension cords

Look for the UL mark on extension cords you purchase. The UL mark means that representative samples of the cord have been tested for foreseeable safety hazards. Store all cords indoors when not in use. Outdoor conditions can deteriorate a cord over time. Never keep an extension cord plugged in when not in use. The cord will still conduct electricity until it is unplugged from the outlet.  Do not use extension cords that are cut or damaged. Touching even a single, exposed strand of wire can give you an electric shock or burn. Never file or cut the plug blades or grounding pin of an extension cord or appliance to plug it into an old outlet.  As a safety feature, extension cords and most appliances have polarized plugs (one blade wider than the other). These special plugs are designed to prevent electric shock by properly aligning circuit conductors. If a plug does not fit, have a qualified electrician install a new outlet.   As always a consumer should read all the manufacturers’ directions on the appliance they are going to be using the extension chord for.  In a lot of cases the use of an extension cord incorrectly will void the warranty, or even the use of an extension cords.  NOT all extension cords are created equal!

 

 

 

 

Fireplace                                            

Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces.  Otherwise you may cause creosote build-up that could lead to a chimney fire.  Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

 

 

 

 

Fire extinguishers

To operate fire extinguishers remember the word PASSPull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the trigger slowly and evenly, Sweep the nozzle from side to side.   

Fire classes

            A-(ash) –trash, wood, paper, clothes, (anything that will produce ash)

B-(barrel) - gasoline, tar, grease, oil, oil-based paint, flammable gases (things that typically come in a barrel)

                        C-(circuit) - electrical fires

D- Combustible metals such as Sodium (Na), Magnesium (Mg), Potassium (K) ect.

K- (Kitchen) - Fires involving combustible vegetable or animal non-saturated cooking fats in commercial cooking equipment

            Fire extinguisher types

Pressurized water – Class A fires only, extinguished by cooling material

below the ignition point.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) –Class B and C fires, extinguishes by smothering

the burning materials, does no conduct electricity (effectiveness decreases as the temperature of the burning material increases)

Multi-purpose dry chemical – Class A, B, or C fires, extinguishes by 

smothering the burning materials. Contains pressurized ammonium phosphate

Combustible Metal- Class D fires only, extinguishes by smothering the

burning materials.  This extinguisher contains a Nitrogen cylinder

that must me activated to pressurize the container.

Wet Chemical- Class A, C or K fires.  Extinguishes by cooling and

forming a foam blanket to prevent reigniting. Does not conduct

electricity.  On Class “K” fires, don’t use until after fixed extinguishing system has activated.

Remind people that they should always call the fire department even if the fire was small and seems like it is out.  The thermal imaging cameras can tell whether the fire is actually out.

 

 

 

 

Fire tetrahedron

The process known as fire is a chemical reaction which involves rapid oxidation or burning of a combustible material. In the past, there was a fire triangle concept including fuel, oxygen, and heat. In recent years this concept has been expanded to include a fourth element, that of the chemical reaction, thus creating the fire tetrahedron.

 

Fuel - May be any combustible material, a solid, liquid, or gas. Typically solids and liquids must be heated to the point where they are converted into a vapor or gas before they will burn.

 

Oxygen - There must be at least 14% oxygen present for a fire to burn. This is usually not a problem since the air we breathe is about 21% oxygen.  But oxygen itself is not flammable.

 

Heat - Heat is the energy needed to increase the fuel’s temperature to the point where sufficient vapors are produced for ignition to occur.

 

Chemical Reaction - The chemical chain reaction know as fire occurs when fuel, oxygen and heat are present in the right conditions and amounts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fireworks

Approximately 15,000 Americans are injured each year by fireworks or firecrackers.   Even sprinklers which appear safe can burn as hot as 1,200 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers and Roman candles account for most firework injuries.                 

Firecrackers will not have labels, a consumer should never buy unlabeled fireworks, and there is no way to know what is in them or the correct way to operate them.  Fireworks should never be lit indoors.  There should always be water or a fire extinguisher near-by when lighting fireworks.

A consumer should never try to reignite fireworks that malfunctioned they should be dropped in a bucket of water.   The safest way to entertain a family for the 4th of July is to take them to a professional firework show.

 

 

 

 

 

Flammable fabrics

All fabrics will burn but some are more combustible than others. Untreated natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk burn more readily than wool, which is more difficult to ignite and burns with a low flame velocity. The weight and weave of the fabric will affect how easily the material will ignite and burn. Recommended fabrics are materials with a tight weave - wool, modacrylic, and those that are flame-retardant treated. Heavy, tight weave fabrics will burn more slowly than loose weave, light fabrics of the same material. The surface texture of the fabric also affects flammability. Fabrics with long, loose, fluffy pile or "brushed" nap will ignite more readily than fabrics with a hard, tight surface and in some cases will result in flames flashing across the fabric surface. 

Most synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, acrylic or polyester resist ignition. However, once ignited, the fabrics melt. This hot, sticky, melted substance causes localized and extremely severe burns.

When natural and synthetic fibers are blended, the hazard may increase because the combination of high rate of burning and fabric melting usually will result in serious burns. In some cases, the hazard may be greater than that of either fabric individually. 

It is also important to note that many kids are now sleeping in t-shirts and shorts that are not sleepwear.  Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) sets national safety standards for children's sleepwear flammability to protect children from serious burn injuries if they come in contact with a small flame.  These T-shirts and shorts may not meet federal standards.  Also children’s clothing is often bought as larger sizes so that children can grow into the clothes.  This is an additional fire hazard.

 

 

 

 

Flammable liquid containers 

Flammable liquids are considered flammable because their flashpoint is below 100°F.  This means that flammable liquids burn easily at normal working temperatures. Liquids must be stored in approved glass, plastic, or metal containers, depending on the quantity and liquid being stored.  The amount of flammable liquid should be limited to the amount that is necessary.  All containers used for the storage of any flammable liquid must be clearly labeled with the name of the material stored inside.   They should be labeled in multiple places because flammable liquids will erase writing. 

Flammable liquids should never be used for cleaning.  Containers should never be filled to the top; consumers should leave room for the expansion of the substance.  Leaving a vapor space in the can will allow the liquid to expand when the temperature changes. An explosion can result if there isn’t enough room to expand.   Flammable liquids should never be mixed.  

 

 

 

                                        Flashlights

A home should have a least one flashlight with extra batteries in case of a power outage.  It should be easy to find!   It is also useful to keep a flashlight next to the bed to make navigating at night easier.   

 

 

 

Furnace

It is important to have a furnace inspected by qualified specialists.  All furnace controls and emergency shutoffs should be in proper working condition.   The walls and ceiling near a furnace should be inspected periodically.  If the wall is hot or discolored additional pipe insulation or clearance may be required.   Trash and other combustibles should be kept away from the heating system. 

 

 

 

Gas Leak

If someone suspects they have a gas leak they should open all the doors and windows. They should check to see if the pilot light has gone off on any of their gas appliances.  If any GAS appliances are on they should be turned off.  Electrical appliances should not be touched.  If in doubt the person should leave the house and call 911.  They should not turn on or off any light switches, use mobile phones, or any other electrical switches. 

 

 

 

Gasoline safety                                 

Gasoline is readily available and routinely used in most households. In spite of the routine use of gasoline most people fail to think about the dangers associated with gasoline.  One of the reasons gasoline is dangerous is it is highly volatile. The fumes are capable of ignition up to12 feet away from a pooled source. It can float on water and may spread long distances, making ignition and flash back possible. Gasoline may ignite from a nearby spark, flame, or even static electricity and become a "fireball" with a temperature of 15,000°F.

Gasoline only has one use; it should never be used as a solvent or cleaning agent.  Gasoline should never be used to start a grill, or accelerate a fire.  The engine on a lawn mower should be cool; a common cause of gasoline related injuries is refilling a hot engine. 

 

 

 

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

A ground fault circuit interrupter is an inexpensive electrical device that, if installed in household branch circuits, could prevent over two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions still occurring each year in and around the home. Installation of the device could also prevent thousands of burn and electric shock injuries each year.

In the home's wiring system, the GFCI constantly monitors electricity flowing in a circuit, to sense any loss of current. If the current flowing through the circuit differs by a small amount from that returning, the GFCI quickly switches off power to that circuit. The GFCI interrupts power faster than a blink of an eye to prevent a lethal dose of electricity. You may receive a painful shock, but you should not be electrocuted or receive a serious shock injury.

All GFCIs should be tested to make sure they are working properly and are protecting you from fatal shock.

To test the receptacle GFCI, first plug a night light or lamp into the outlet. The light should be on Then, press the "TEST" button on the GFCI. The GFCI's "RESET" button should pop out, and the light should go out.

If the "RESET" button pops out but the light does not go out, the GFCI has been improperly wired. Contact an electrician to correct the wiring errors.

If the "RESET" button does not pop out, the GFCI is defective and should be replaced.

If the GFCI is functioning properly, and the lamp goes out, press the "RESET" button to restore power to the outlet.

 

 

 

 

Gun safety                                         

Between 1994 and 1998 23,776 children under age 19 died from a gun related injury, which is equal to 13 children a day.  Proper storage of a gun includes keeping the gun in a gun safe, lock box, or a locked cabinet or drawer. The gun should also be stored unloaded with the bullets locked separately.  The police department is currently giving away gun locks.   A child should be taught if they see a gun to stop, don’t touch, leave the area, and find an adult.  There have been numerous studies conducted that show even kids who are given this education are still curious.  Most kids will play with a gun if they find it, unsupervised.   The best way to avoid these tragedies is to have parents understand what their responsibilities are if they choose to own a gun. This is why it is important to teach parents how to store their gun properly.  In a shoebox on a high shelf is not storing a gun properly!

 

 

 

 

Halogen Lamps

By 1997, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) was aware of at least 189 fires and 11 deaths since 1992 involving halogen torchiere floor lamps. Here are some safety tips for lamps manufactured pre-1999.

                        Always use a wire or glass guard to cover the bulb.

                        Never place the lamp near curtains or other cloth window treatments.

                        Keep the lamp away from bedding.

                        Never leave the lamp on unattended, especially when leaving your home

Keep children and pets away from the lamp to reduce the chance of the lamp tipping over.

                        Only use a halogen bulb of 300 watts or LESS in the lamp.

Torchiere lamps manufactured after June 1, 1999 will be safer due to additional testing and product requirements.  These lamps come with a wire guard. This is why it is important that the lamps have a UL listing.   These lamps will have the date they were manufactured posted on the base.

 

 

 

 

Hear us; See us; Clear for us

This is another way to teach citizens the correct way to respond to emergency vehicles.  Usually they will hear you first, than see you, and you want them to “CLEAR” for you.

C – Calmly pull to and as close to the edge of the roadway as possible and

stop. Pull to the right.

L – Leave room. Keep intersections clear and never try to follow

emergency vehicles.

E – Enter into traffic with caution after the emergency vehicle has passed.

Remember to use signals.

A – Aware (be). Be aware of your surroundings. Keep radio volume low

and check rear view mirrors frequently.

R – Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed. Be mindful

that there may be additional emergency vehicles approaching.

 

 

 

 

Heating appliances                           

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is a "much higher" fatal fire risk associated with the use of portable kerosene heaters and space heaters as compared to central heating. 

 

 

 

Heat related illnesses

Heat Fatigue:  A feeling of weakness brought on by high outdoor temperatures.  Symptoms include moist skin, a weakened pulse, and feelings of faintness.

Heat Exhaustion:  Serves as a warning that the body is getting too hot.  The person may be giddy, thirsty, weak, or uncoordinated. Heat exhaustion is usually caused by the body’s loss of water and salt.

Heat Stroke:  Can be life-threatening!  Immediate medical attention is necessary.  A person with heat stroke has a body temperature near or over 104°F. A person’s skin is usually hot, red and dry.  Other symptoms may include dizziness, strange behavior, staggering, lack of sweating, confusion, or loss of consciousness.

Basic treatments are to relocate the person to a cooler environment, and rehydrate them.  Never give them alcoholic beverages to cool them off.  If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke seek immediate medical attention. 

Suggestions for preventing a heat-related illness include frequently drinking water or nonalcoholic fluids.  You should drink plenty of fluids before you are thirsty; most doctors recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Avoid liquids that contain a lot of caffeine or sugar, if you are on a low-salt diet talk to your doctor before consuming any sports drinks.  Try and wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.  Limit any strenuous activities to the morning and evening.  Periodically checking on elderly neighbors who do not have air conditioning is a good idea.

 

 

 

Home oxygen

Oxygen is not flammable, but it can cause other materials that burn to ignite more easily and to burn far more rapidly. The result is that a fire involving oxygen can be explosive-like, see fire tetrahedron. Oxygen is of great benefit to those in need of oxygen therapy but it should always be handled with caution and awareness of the potential hazards.  Common tips include not using bedding or clothes made of wool, nylon or synthetic fabrics as these materials have the tendency to produce static electricity. The use of cotton material bedding and clothes will avoid sparks from static electricity.  Never smoke while using oxygen. Warn visitors not to smoke near you when you are using oxygen.  Post at least one NO SMOKING sign in a prominent place at the entrance to your home.  When you go to a restaurant with your portable oxygen source, sit in the nonsmoking section and away from any open flame such as candles or warming burners.  Stay at least five feet from gas stoves, candles, fireplaces and other heat sources.

 

 

 

Hot water heaters

Water heater temperature should be set at 120°F or lower, most water heaters are set at 140°F. This will help you keep your energy bills lower and help prevent unintentional burns.

 

 

 

Household appliances

Appliances should be UL (Underwriter Laboratories) approved. Residents should avoid overloading electric circuits.  Appliances should be unplugged when not in use, if they are plugged in, even if the power is off there is still a danger of electrocutions.

 

 

 

 

 

Household Hazards (great opportunity to use the Hazard house)

             Kitchen

Burns from hot water (Turn on the cold water first, then the hot)

No horseplay near the stove or oven

Pot handles should be turned in

No loose clothing while cooking

Bedroom       

Sleep with the door closed

Don’t burn candles or play with matches

Space heaters need space, three feet away from anything combustible

People should not smoke in bed

Bathroom               

Burns from hot water (Turn on the cold water first, then the hot)

Use bathmats, and no-slip mats in the shower

Unplug any electronics before turning on the water; don’t place electronics near the bathtub

Living room           

There should be a screen on the fire place.

There shouldn’t be a lot of clutter. See Housekeeping

Sofa cushions should always be checked for cigarette ashes

Space heaters need space

 

 

 

 

Housekeeping

Housekeeping is important in that it affects fire safety and accident prevention. Corridors and aisles may become convenient locations for material storage. This is an unsafe practice as corridors and aisles are means of exit and escape in an emergency such as fire. They are also used by fire and emergency personnel in entry and reaching necessary portions of facilities.  By eliminating one aspect of the fire tetrahedron a fire cannot occur, so be keeping a residence or workplace tidy it is harder for a fire to spread.   You can tell little kids to keep their rooms clean, because it is a fire hazard.  It also make it harder for the firefighters to find them if there is a fire. 

 

 

 

House numbers

A badly displayed number hinders the police, ambulance, and fire department in the event of an emergency.  For public education purposes, it helps the public to think differently, less morbidly.  You can mention that a properly displayed house number will also help pizza delivery drivers to make it seem less morbid. If the house has a dark color, it will need a number in a light color. If the house has a light color, it will need a dark color number. For example, a black number is perfect on a white house. A white number will show clearly on a brick house.  It is also important to have the number lit by a porch light, this increase visibility.  For the street curb black numbers should be painted on white background. It is clearly visible from a distance even with no light. Large bold white numbers on green are okay but not as good. The idea is to have a light and dark contrast with the mailbox. Black numbers on white stickers are excellent. You can mount a sign with a strong contrast above or below the mailbox.  Homeowners should display their number in multiple places such as, the house, the curb, and the mailbox. 

 

 

 

Kerosene Heater

Use only water-clear 1 K grade kerosene. Never use gasoline. Gasoline is not the same as kerosene. Even small amounts of gasoline or other volatile fuels or solvents mixed with kerosene can substantially increase the risk of a fire or an explosion.  Kerosene should not be stored in a gasoline can or in a can that previously contained gasoline.   Kerosene containers are usually blue; gasoline containers are usually red.  Tanks should be filled outdoors away from combustibles, and after the heater has been turned off and allowed to cool down.  A heater should never be filled when it us hot or is in operation. Do not fill the fuel tank above the "full" mark. The space above the "full" mark is to allow the fuel room to expand without causing leakage when the heater is operating.  A heater should never be moved if there is a flare-up or uncontrolled flaming. If the heater is equipped with a manual shut-off switch, activate the switch to turn off the heater. If this does not extinguish the fire, leave the house immediately and call the fire department.  

 

 

 

 

 

Lighters                 

Children should never play with matches or lighters; these objects are tools not toys.  They should tell an adult if they see matches or lighters.  Many children are hurt by playing with fire; we don’t want to see any more children hurt by fire.  Children need to understand that a little fire can become a big fire very quickly.

                                              

Never play with matches or lighters during the presentation.  Kids at this age remember more of what they see then what they hear.  If you are playing with the lighter, they won’t hear the message.   Also as a society we teach children that fire is easily controlled, and part of a celebration by using candles on Birthday cakes.   Most children are under the impression that they can just simply blow out a fire.

 

 

 

 

Meeting place

This is a place a family agrees to meet at outside of the house in case of a fire.  It can be a neighbor’s house, a tree across the street, or any other place close by that is easy to find.  This helps to make sure everyone in the house is accounted for.

 

 

 

 

 

Pool safety

Six people in the U.S. die in pools everyday.  19% of these pools are public facilities staffed with certified professional lifeguards.  Children under 5 and adolescents between the ages 15-24 have the highest drowning rates.  Even thought the majority of drownings and near downings occur in swimming pool, children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.  Children should never be allowed to swim or play by the pool without adult supervision.  Children drown without making a sound; parents shouldn’t assume that a child will be able to scream for help a child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone.  Pools should have self locking gates.  Swimmer should obey all posted rules at a pool including not running, no diving into the shallow end, no glass, ect… Also people that can’t swim need to be equipped with proper safety flotation devices, and need to be supervised.

 

 

 

Propane safety

Propane-powered equipment should be handled according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside of the home.  Propane gas cylinders larger than one pound should not be stored inside the home.  A propane-powered gas grill should never be used inside the home. 

 

 

 

Security bars

Security bars are used to keep people out and provide security, but the reality is they can also trap people inside their homes in the event of an emergency. If people chose to have security bars, they should be equipped with quick release devices.  This is why it is important to practice home escape plans, because a family can learn is there are hazards that can prevent a safe and quick exit.

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke detectors                   

Believe it or not some children don’t know what a smoke detector is, or they think a smoke detector actually puts the fire out.  They don’t always realize that the alarm just alerts people to get out of the home.  When someone hears a smoke alarm it is important to crawl low in smoke and to get outside and stay outside.  Families should have a home escape plan and a safe meeting place.  There are many stories about people running into a burning building to save someone who was already out of the structure. They should call 911 from a neighbor’s home after leaving the house.  Most people are under the impression that fires are bright and well lit; one goal of this program should be to help alleviate this notion.  People are twice as likely to survive a fire if they have a working smoke detector.  Most fatal fires occur at night; people will not wake up and smell smoke.  In fact smoke helps to numb the senses and they won’t wake up. 

 

 

 

 

Smoke detector maintenance/installation

Batteries should be replaced twice a year (when you change your clocks.)  The detector should be tested once a month by pressing the test button, not my lighting a match or candle.   There are smoke detector test sprays that are available as well.  The vents on the detector should be kept free of dust and cobwebs.  There should be at least one smoke detector on every level, one outside the sleeping areas and it is recommended to install one each of the bedrooms.  They should not be installed inside the kitchen or bathroom to prevent false alarms.

 

 

 

 

Smoking                                             

Careless disposal of smoking materials and cigarettes is the leading cause of fatal residential fires in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 250,000 house fires per year are caused by careless disposal of cigarettes or other smoking materials. Nearly 2,000 people tragically and needlessly lose their lives in these fires. Most smoking fires start in the bedroom, living room or den when cigarettes or burning embers are dropped on upholstered furniture, bedding or trash. By being alert to the fire hazards of smoking and taking safety precautions, a fire disaster can be prevented.  When cleaning ashtrays, fill them with water - then empty them in the trash can. Even when a cigarette appears to be extinguished, there is still a chance that it may be smoldering. Play it safe and soak cigarette butts before disposing them. Check under cushions for smoldering embers. A burning cigarette can smolder between the cushions of upholstered furniture and go unnoticed for as long as five hours! Before you leave a room where people have been smoking, carefully check between sofa and chair crevices and under cushions. Check for embers, cigarette butts or matches. Make sure they have not been smoldering and remove them at once.

 

 

 

 

Space heaters

Portable electric heaters, while seemingly harmless, are responsible for 2600 fires and 130 deaths annually.  All types must be kept at least 36 inches from anything that can burn, including furniture, bedding, clothing, pets and people.  Space heaters must not be left operating when you are not in the room, or when you go to sleep. Children should be supervised at all times when space heaters are in use.  Do not put clothing or combustibles over heaters. Check for fraying or splitting wires, or overheating. Have problems repaired by a professional before operating the space heater.  People should keep warm; they just shouldn’t risk their life doing it.

 

 

 

 

Sprinklers                                          

Sprinklers typically reduce chances of dying in a fire and the average property loss by one-half to two-thirds in any kind of property where they are used. NFPA has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a completely sprinklered public assembly, educational, institutional or residential building where the system was working properly. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire activates.  Hollywood has given people the impression that if one sprinkler goes off, they all spray water.  Sprinklers use a lot less water than firefighters do to put out fire.  Even if people have sprinklers they also need to have smoke detectors and an escape plan.

 

 

 

 

 

Stop drop roll 

If your clothes catch on fire:

STOP immediately where you are

DROP to the ground

ROLL over and back while covering your face with your hands.  Until the flames are extinguished

Children tend to get confused about when they should stop, drop, and roll.  They tend to think that they do this when the smoke detector goes off.  Make sure it is clear!!!

 

 

 

Storm safety

Lightning associated with thunderstorms generates a variety of fire hazards. The power of lightning’s electrical charge and intense heat can electrocute on contact, splitting trees and causing fires. 

 

 

 

Terrorism

All terrorist acts are crime; most include violence and threats of violence.  Once a terrorist event is underway the success rate is 75%.  It the event involves suicide the success rate is 96%. Terrorists may not have the same ethical or moral perspectives as first responders.  It is hard to imagine what they may or may not plan.  The public now expects an extraordinary rescue effort will be made after any terrorist attack.  But secondary devices are present 50% of the time.   Everyone can take simple steps to help prepare themselves for the unthinkable.   See Disaster Survival Kits.  The public also needs to know that the fire department is taking steps to better to prepare themselves in the event of a terrorist attack.  For example, the new HazMat equipment that the department recently received.

 

 

 

 

UL (Underwriter Laboratories)        

A not-for-profit, independent laboratory has tested samples of products to safety requirements and conducts periodic checks of manufacturers' facilities.  The laboratory takes into account normal operations of the electrical appliances. 

 

 

 

 

Vehicle fires                                                           

Nearly 1 out of 5 fires involves motor vehicles.  1 out of 8 fire deaths results from motor vehicle fires. If there is a fire the first step is get everyone away from the vehicle.  If the vehicle is in a garage or structure the person should exit immediately.  Call 911.  People should only attempt to use a fire extinguisher if he/she can do so from a safe distance.  A fire extinguisher approved for use on class B and class C fires should be used.  They should not attempt to open the hood or trunk of the car.

 

 

 

 

Wildfires                                                           

Fire is a part of our environment.  Our brush-covered hills and canyons and forest were periodically burning long before homes were built.  People are living in this fire environment. Many homes are built and landscaped with no thought of wildfire.  With more and more people, fires are more likely to happen, with increasingly worst results.  People can help keep their homes safe by creating a defensible space.  This space varies depending on the type of vegetation and the slope of the ground the hill is on.  For example a home with grass-type vegetation (wildland grasses, weeds, and widely scattered shrubs) on a flat slope needs a defensible space of 30 feet.  However if the home is on a steep hill, that defensible space needs to be 100 feet. All dead vegetation should be removed from this area; any other vegetation should be maintained on a regular basis.