01 July 2013

Fire Safety

Fire Safety

So the topic of this post is fire safety, which is something near and dear to my heart but before we begin let me start out with a funny story.

My mother and father met when they were respectively 23 & 43, they met while attending fire fighting school. My dad has worked in public safety in the way of fire departments for over 30 years! My mom would have loved to be an EMT if not for her knee. Needless to say fire safety and public safety is important, so now for the ironic funny part, my maidan name, is Burns. Okay so yeah it's a little haha but still funny in my mind. On to the good stuff!

As you can tell I have good reasons to take fire safety very seriously, I grew up in fire stations my whole life. Getting called trouble by the firefighters, knowing them and their families very well. I went on fire runs with my dad as a child, he was fire marshall for a long time, so I saw the firefighters on the runs not just in the station. I helped my dad during fire education of young children to teach them stop, drop and roll. Fire is just in my blood. I can smell it from a mile away, the distinct smell that a house fire puts off, I cry when I imagine the loss because i've been there as families have watched their homes go up in smoke, and I've heard some altogether shocking but cool stories!

My goal is to help you improve your safety measures! I'm going to break it down into categories.

Home Safety
  1. Unplug appliances. A lot of people don't do this because it's inconvient and I understand but the ones that aren't inconvient like a coffee pot or toaster just unplug them. This is especially important with space heaters, christmas lights, etc
  2. Use Candles Safely! This is hard for me because i've seen a lot of fires that have started because of them, but I love the smell and the ambiance, so use them responsibly! Or use scentsy! Which you can buy from Bevy here!
  3.  Clutter aids a fire! I know it seems silly but all those boxes in your garage are flamable, switch to rubbermaid if you can or get rid of it all together. Don't jam rooms to full of furniture.
  4. No smoking indoors! I know seems simple but a lot of fires occur because of smoking inside!
  5. Do NOT pile garbage or brush alongside a house! This is combustion heaven! You're asking for huge amounts of heat that just bakes! 
  6. Check smoke detectors! I know simple but it's helpful to have them around bedrooms and for them to be tested regularly!
  7. Maintain furnace and a/c units! You can't even imagine how dirty the air vents get and how dangerous that can be!
  8. Don't leave lamps on for long periods. If you want to come home to a lit home, use a timer because some lamps just aren't made for that espcially the ones that are extremely bright or put off a lot of heat!
  9. Use good electrical knowledge. Replace frayed cords and do not drag cords under rugs, if you walk on that rug regularly you're stepping all over the cord causing frays and misfirings and then adding a flamable material on top of it.
  10. In a second story house have window ladders available in each bedroom!
Family Safety
  1. Practice fire drills with your family! I know you're not in school anymore but most small children don't know what a fire alarm sounds like let alone what to do. You don't want them to freeze in their room if you can't get to them with nothing to do but cry. 
  2. Teach children how to stop, drop and roll. It goes without saying that it can be fun to teach children and it can be a lifesaving skill!
  3. Have a water bottle and wash cloth near beds! If a fire does happen in your home, having this near can help you get out in a lot of smoke. You'll want to soak the wash cloth in the water and hold it over your nose and mouth, it acts as a sort of filter to allow you to breath a little better. 
  4. Remember to stay low and feel before you go! Practice this with children. When smoke is present staying up with cause them to breath in too much smoke as heat (smoke) rises. Before they open a door they need to feel it. If they open a door that's hot they then allow the fire to gain more oxygen (it's fuel) as well as cut off a barrier that they previously had!
  5. Teach children about fire! Make smores in the backyard and teach them that fire is not a play thing but something that's fun to make smores with but shouldn't be done without you! Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Children are curious so don't underestimate that curiousity and the ability to find and want to play with fire!
  6. Leave bedroom doors closed at night! This seems strange but in the event of a fire the majority of smoke won't get to them with the door closed and acts (again) as a barrier. If you're worried about not being able to get to them or hearing the smoke alarm, install one outside their door and teach them what to do if you DON'T get to them! 
  7. Go meet firefighters in full gear! Call your local fire department to find out when but it's very important that children now be scared of the fire fighter if they come into get them. We pray it never gets to that but a child running from something he percieves as scary in an already scary situation puts him at risk!
  8. Teach children where to go and what to do if they get out and you don't! Forewarn neighbors of firedrills and have the children practice with them!
  9. Practice, Practice, Practice!  I can't tell you how much time I spent practicing all of these things, rehearsing them. Make it fun, fix brownies when you go visit the fire station, get ice cream after a fire drill, stop drop and roll with them! Kids need to practice it enough that they don't freeze when it comes to it!
Outdoor fire safety
  1.  Never disgard hot cools until they are completely cooled! No matter what type of container they need to cool on their own in the grill!
  2. Keep grills 5-10 ft away from structures. It does not matter if it's a building, desk, shed, tree, etc keep them away!
  3. Try and not bbq on a wood deck!
  4. Keep an extinguisher handy!
  5. Put all grills or pits on solid surfaces!
  6. Man the flame, never leave it unattended especially with children around!
  7. If you need to cool it down, pour water slowly and completely over the coals, do not just dump the water!
  8. Be careful with lighter fluid, if their is already a flame and you use lighter fluid it can cause flashback up into the container!

I hope this helped you with some fire safety issues! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!
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