Fire Safety for the Home – Part III
Continued from last week.
7. Stop, drop and roll.
Fight the urge to panic and run if your clothes catch fire because this will only accelerate its spread, since fire needs oxygen to sustain and grow. Tamping out the fire by rolling is effective, especially since your clothes may be on fire on your back or lower body where you may not be immediately aware of it. If ground space is limited, cover yourself with a blanket to tamp out any flames, and douse yourself with water as soon as you can.
Additionally, always stay close to the floor during a fire; heat and smoke rise, and breathable air will normally be found at the floor-level, giving you a greater chance of escape before being overcome by smoke and toxic fumes.
Also, before exiting a closed room, be sure to test the doorknob for heat before opening the door. A very hot doorknob indicates that fire could be lurking just outside; opening the door will feed the fire an added surge of oxygen, potentially causing an explosive backdraft that can be fatal.
8. Know your local emergency number.
People of all ages need to know their emergency number (usually, it’s 911). Posting it near the phone and putting it on speed-dial will save precious moments when the ability to think clearly may be compromised.
- Make sure your electrical system is updated, and that you have appropriate AFCI and GFCI receptacles. Have your system inspected by an InterNACHI inspector or a licensed electrician to make sure your electrical needs are not taxing your electrical system.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed. Test them to make sure they’re working properly, and change their batteries at least annually.
- Check to see that your house number is clearly visible from the street, and unobstructed by any tree branches or structural overhangs. If first-responders are called to your home to put out a fire, make sure they can find you.
- Be aware of lit candles. Never leave them unattended, and always blow them out when leaving home or going to bed. This is especially important during the holidays when candles are used as holiday decorations. Also, keep them out of the way of drapes and plants, and out of reach of children and especially pets, whose tails can accidentally knock over a candle or come into contact with its flame.
- Never use barbecue grills indoors, either for cooking or as a heat source. The carbon monoxide they emit cannot be adequately vented, and their flammable materials pose safety hazards. Also, do not use the oven to heat the indoors. Space heaters are safer and more energy-efficient. Ask your Comprehensive Building Consultants home inspector to perform an energy audit to find heat leaks, and to suggest low-cost ways to keep your home warm and comfortable during cold weather.
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Posted on October 2, 2012, in Inspections and tagged 911, AFCI, Carbon Monoxide, Comprehensive Building Consultants, Fire Safety, Fort Myers, GFCI, Inspections, Inspector Gadget, InterNACHI, Property Guiding, Russ Hensel, Smoke Detector, Stop drop and roll, SWFL Real Estate, Toxic Fumes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.