A fire can start in many areas of your home. Once started, a fire can
rage out of control. Protect your family. Prevent fire before it starts. Guard
against these hazards.
Smoking: Most deaths in home fires are caused by careless smoking.
Someone falls asleep in bed with a lit cigarette. Or someone leaves a
cigarette on the edge of a table. Don’t let anyone smoke in your home. If
people must smoke, ask them to go outside. Provide an ashtray or tin can
for matches and butts. You don’t want them to flick butts into dry grass or
Heaters: Place space heaters away from bedding, clothing, drapes and
anything else that can catch fire. Don’t warm yourself by standing close to
heaters. If you’re cold, put on extra socks or a sweater. Teach children not
to run or play around heaters.
Electrical system: Ask your landlord how old the electrical system is.
Older houses were not wired to carry today’s electrical loads. You may need
heavy-duty outlets for the stove, washer and other large appliances. You
may need more outlets for things like clocks, the TV and lamps.
Don’t plug several appliances into one outlet. Overloading can cause a fire.
Use only the correct size fuses. If a fuse blows out again and again, call for
repair. If you feel a tingle when touching a toaster or other electrical device,
unplug it. Replace it or have it repaired.
Don’t run cords under rugs or carpets. The cord can become damaged and
set a carpet on fire. When you leave the house, make sure all appliances are
turned off. Never leave an electrical appliance running when you’re gone.
Kitchen: Most kitchen fires occur as a result
of cooking. Keep towels and other flammable
things away from burners. Never leave the
kitchen when something is cooking. While
cooking, watch your child closely. Turn pot
handles to the back of the stove. Use the back
burners whenever possible.
Keep your child away when you open a hot oven. If a fire starts on the
stove, cover it with a large pot lid or baking pan. Don’t throw water on
burning grease. It can send the hot grease flying and spread the fire.
Instead, douse a grease fire with salt or baking soda. Store matches in a
glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store them out of your child’s reach.
Storage areas: Remove piles of trash, old clothes and other things that
can burn. Get rid of kerosene, paint thinner and other flammable liquids.
If you must use them for a time, keep these products away from heat. Use
them only where the air is moving freely. Let paint and polish rags dry
thoroughly. If you stuff them into a garbage can on a hot day, the vapors
can ignite. Never store gasoline indoors. Never use it to start a fire.
Clothing: Check the labels of your child’s clothing and bedding. Don’t use
any items that say, “Flammable.”
Holiday decorations: Keep lighted candles away from paper, curtains
and other things that can burn. If you use a live Christmas tree, keep it in a
container of wet soil or water.
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