Keep your home and family safe in a fire

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The majority of fires happen in the home, most commonly while you are sleeping. “Usually between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 p.m. Typically when most people are sleeping,” said Lt. Ken Wright an Assistant Fire Marshal with Lancaster City Bureau of Fire.

Smoke alarms and preparing can save your life.”The only time we have any fatalities in fires is when the home is not equipped with smoke detectors,” said Lt. Wright.

“Smoke will not wake you up. It is so important to have a smoke detector. The by-products of combustion that come from a fire. The poisonous gases, Carbon Monoxide being the big one, It’s odorless, tasteless, you can’t smell it, or see it, and that one will make you go unconscious. It will start to give you flu-like symptoms and actually cause you to go into a deeper sleep,” said Lt. Wright.

Smoke Alarms
“The majority of fatal home fire happen at night when people are asleep. Smoke alarms give you time to escape.” [nfpa.org]

Install an alarm on every level of your home, including your basement
Install an alarm in and outside of every sleeping area
NFPA also suggests installing alarms in dining rooms, family rooms, utility rooms, hallways, and other living areas
Don’t install alarms closer than three feet from a kitchen or bathroom door
Mount alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling, because smoke rises
Wire alarms together so that if one sounds, they all sound

Testing
Test alarms monthly
Replace batteries at least once a year
Install a long-life battery
Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old

Exit Drills in The Home
“80% of fire deaths happen in the home. That’s why you need working smoke alarms and a plan to get out of the home in case of a fire.” [nfpa.org]

Home Escape Plan
Find all doors and windows in the home that lead outside and make sure they open easily
Know at least two ways out of every room if possible
Stairways and ways out should be clear of furniture or clutter
Choose a meeting place a safe distance from the home

Practice, Practice, Practice!
Push smoke alarm to start the drill
Get out fast
Practice difference ways out
Practice during the day and night

Make a Safe Escape
When a smoke alarm sounds, and there is smoke, get out and stay out
If smoke is blocking your way out, use second way out.
Get low and stay under the smoke to get out
Close all doors behind you
If you can’t get to someone who needs help leave the home and call 911
Never go back into a burning building to rescue people, pets, or belongings

Kitchen Fire Safety
Don’t cook if you’re sleepy, if you’ve been drinking excessively, or if you’ve taken medication that makes you drowsy
Keep pot holders, food packaging, cookbooks, and other combustibles away from the stove top
Use only one heat-producing appliance on the same circuit at a time
Don’t use appliances that feel too hot, smokes, or gives off a funny odor

Grease Fires
If a pan catches fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the fire.
Prevent flare-ups by leaving the pan covered until it is completely cool
Don’t use a fire extinguisher and don’t throw water on the fire (This can splatter burning grease and spread the fire)

Oven Fire
Turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed

Microwave Fire
Keep the door closed and unplug the microwave
Have appliance serviced before using again

For more information or to get free smoke detectors [must own and occupy home in Lancaster City] from the Lancaster City Bureau of Fire click here or call 717-291-4869
For more tips from NFPA codes, tips, etc. click here

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.