It takes no time for a fire to sweep through a dwelling and destroy all of family’s possessions. While there are items that can be replaced such as appliances, clothing and furniture, those objects with sentimental value such as pictures and handmade objects can never be replaced. Loss of valuable personal possessions can be avoided by taking steps to prevent fires in in homes and businesses.
Make sure your dwelling or business has a working smoke detector. Smoke detectors are warning devices that can save lives when they operate properly. A smoke detector will emit a loud noise whenever smoke activates a sensor in the detector. This is important because most people who die in fires are overcome by smoke. There are also smoke detectors designed for the hearing impaired. If your smoke detector is battery operated, check it every month by pressing the test button and change batteries at least once per year. A smoke detector that is wired into a home’s electrical system should have a light that blinks periodically that indicates that the detector is active. If you have questions about the working condition of your smoke detector, contact your local fire department for help.
Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, shop or where ever there is might be an opportunity for a fire to occur. An ABC type fire extinguisher is recommended because it works on all types of fires. You should know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly before you have to use it. Remember that fire extinguishers are designed for use on small fires. If the fire is too large for the to be put out by your fire extinguisher, call 911 immediately. Leave the building or dwelling immediately and move to a place of safety.
When using a fireplace, place a screen in front of the opening to prevent sparks from flying. Paper, wood and combustible materials should not be stored near fireplaces and wood burning stoves. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned before being used. Furnaces and heating systems should also be inspected and repaired before cold weather arrives. Keep combustibles away from space heaters and monitor these heaters when in use. Always monitor pots and pans when cooking.
Keep combustible materials and substances such as gasoline stored in a safe place away from appliances such as hot water heaters. Never overload extension cords and never use extension cords with space heaters. Never use outdoor grills inside the home. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
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