© Fayetteville Professional Fire Fighters Association
Last Update 12-1-14
Home fire safety is no accident - it takes work. But it's not that hard! We can help you take some simple steps to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe at home, and in the event of a residential fire - get out alive.
Always remember, if you need help - Call 9-1-1. Don't wait, don't hesitate. Call 9-1-1 and get help on the way.
Your first line of defense are smoke detectors. They are an inexpensive way to alert your family of a potential problem. We reccommend one detector in each bedroom and one on each floor of the residence. If this proves too costly for you, we at a minimum reccommend one detector in the hallway outside the bedrooms. They should be mounted on the ceiling, in the center between the walls, at the highest level point. In addition, we reccommend that you vacuum the smoke detector monthly, and that twice yearly when you change your clocks - you change the batteries in the smoke detectors.
The next step you can take is E.D.I.T.H. - This stands for Exit Drills In The Home. Just like a school fire drill, you should have a fire drill at home. You need to have an escape plan. Sit down with your kids and draw a diagram of your house, then show them at least TWO ways out. Even if this means using an unconventional means of escaping, like climbing out a window. Kids and adults alike need to know how to get out of a smoke-filled home. The most important thing is to stay calm. Never stand up, always crawl low in smoke. Feel all doors with the back of your hand prior to opening them, to ensure there is no fire on the other side. Kids need to be reminded that in the event of fire, they should never hide in a closet, under the bed, in the bathroom or anywhere else. If you or your children have bedrooms on the 2nd floor of your residence, you should have emergency escape ladders in each bedroom that are quickly accessible. Once everyone gets out of the house safely, you should have a meeting place. It can be the mailbox, a neighbors driveway, a tree in the yard - anywhere outside & in front of the house so that we know you are all out safe when we arrive. No one should ever go back into the house for anyone or anything. Once you get out - stay out. Let the firefighters go in rescue any pets or family members left inside.
Most residential fires start from cooking mishaps. Never leave anything on the stove unattended - even for just a couple minutes. it only takes an instant for a small grease fire to spread throughout the kitchen. If there is a grease fire on the stove, NEVER put water on it, that will only make it worse and spread the fire. Use baking soda, salt, flour, or a lid to smother the flames. Make sure you always leave pot handles turned in so small hands don't grab them and pull them down off the stove, or so that no one bumps into them when walking past the stove. Also, never cook with long, loose clothing on. The same goes for long hair, make sure it's pulled back and kept clear of open flames. If your clothes should catch on fire, Stop, Drop & Roll. Don't run, stop right where you are, drop to the floor and roll back and forth to smother the flames.
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? If not, you should. If you do have one, is it more than 5 years old? If so, you need to get it checked & serviced by a licensed extinguisher service company, or simply replace it. You should have a couple extinguishers in your house. One in the kitchen and at least one other in the bedroom to aid in escape.