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Fire Extinguisher 101

Livonia Spree

Sparky The Fire Dog
     
Fire Safety
Posted On: Mar 01, 2010

Draw a floor plan of your home or apartment
Be sure to mark all doors and windows.

 

Know two ways out of every room
If one way is blocked by smoke or fire, you can use the second way out.

 

Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will gather
Plan to call the fire department from a neighbor's home.  Once out, stay out! Invisible toxic gases can kill you.  If someone or a pet is trapped, let the fire department rescue them.

 

Practice your exit plan until it is automatic
Then practice again at least twice a year.  Too often families make plans and then put them away in a drawer or old filing cabinet.  When fire occurs, you will not have time to search for them.

 

Know what to do when you hear the alarm
When you are in your room and you hear a smoke alarm go off - or someone yelling "Fire! or "Smoke!" - you have only a few minutes to get outside.   Don't waste time checking to see if it's a false alarm.  Treat all alarms as real; act immediately.

 

Get down on the floor and crawl low
Both heat and smoke rise, so if you stay between 12 and 36 inches off the floor, you will be safer from high heat and toxic fumes.

 

Check the door before opening
Look for smoke seeping around the door frame.  Feel the door with your hand.  If you have a solid door, it will be hot to the touch if there is fire on the other side.

 

Open doors slowly and carefully
Be very cautious.  Even if you've checked the door, there could still be fire on the other side.  When you open the door, put your head down and tilt your face away from the opening.  Open the door just a little so that it will be easy to close if you detect fire.

 

Close doors behind you
Remember that closed doors slow the flow of oxygen to the fire and give you added time to escape.

 

Learn how to escape through windows
If you are on the first floor, exit the window feet first.  Grab the window ledge, hang down as far as you can, then jump.  Do not exit a window any higher up, except as a last resort.

 

Do not use an elevator
If you live in a high-rise, locate the fire escape and use it.  A fire can disable the elevator, and you could be trapped.

Safety Measures:
Do you have these safety items in your home?

 

 

Working smoke detectors on all levels and outside sleeping areas (each story or wing basement, etc._  Have you tested the detector in the last month?  Changed the batteries within the last year?

 

 

 

ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen and/or workshop.

 

 

 

Emergency exit plan, with two ways out from each room and a meeting place outdoors.

 

Identifying Fire Hazards In Your Home
Check for fire hazards in your home.   Correct any problems NOW.

 

Kitchen

 

 

 

Matches stored out of reach of children.

 

Kitchen
 

 

No overloaded outlets or extension cords.

 

 

 

No curtains or towel racks close to the range.

 

 

 

Flammable liquids (cleaning fluids, contact adhesives, etc.) or aerosols stored away from the range or other heat source. (Remember, even a pilot light can set vapors on fire.)

 

 

 

No attractive or frequently used items stored above the range where someone could get burned reaching for them (especially small children in search of cookies or other goodies).

 

 

 

No worn or frayed appliance or extension cords.

 

Living Room, Family Room, Den, Bedrooms

 

 

 

Matches and lighters stored out of reach of children.

 

Living Room
 

 

Use only large ashtrays (small ashtrays are too dangerous).

 

 

 

Empty ashtrays frequently (when all signs of heat and burning are gone).

 

 

 

Fireplace kept screened and cleaned regularly.

 

 

 

Replace worn or grayed extension cords or other electrical cords.

 

 

 

No extension cords under rugs or carpets or looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray.

 

 

 

Heating equipment kept three feet away from curtains, furniture and papers.

 

 

 

No overloaded outlets or extension cords.

 

Basement, Garage, Storage Areas

 

 

 

No newspapers or other rubbish stored near furnace, water heater or other heat source.

 

Basement
 

 

No oily, greasy rags stored, except when kept in labeled and sealed non-glass containers (preferably metal).

 

 

 

No gasoline stored in the house or basement. (it should be stored away from the house in an outbuilding and only in safety cans that have flame arresters and pressure-relief valves.

 

 

 

No flammable liquids stored near workbench or pilot light or in anything other than labeled, sealed metal containers.  (This includes varnish, paint remover, paint thinner, contact adhesives, cleaning fluids, etc.)

 

 

 

No overloaded outlets or extension cords.

 

 

 

All fuses of the correct size.

 

 

 

Dangerous Actions
Do you allow unsafe habits?  These guidelines may help your family become more safety aware.

 

  • Wear close fitting sleeves while cooking. (No loose sleeves, shirts, blouses or skirts that may catch fire

     

  • Never leave cooking unattended.

     

  • Never play with matches or lighters.

     

  • Never use gasoline to start a fire in the grill or add lighter fluid to an already started fire.

     

  • No smoking in bed, or in a chair or on the sofa when tired, drinking or taking medication.

     

  • Never spray aerosols while smoking or near a space heater, range or other ignition source.

     

  • No smoking while using a cleaning fluid, paint thinner or other flammable liquid.

     

  • Never use a cigarette lighter after spilling flammable fluid on your hands or clothing.

     

  • Never reach over a range or climb onto a range to get something stored above it.

     

  • Never lean against a range for warmth or stand too close to a heater or fireplace.

     

  • Never let a small child blow out a match.

     

  • Never use a lighted match, lighter or candle to illuminate a dark area, such as a closet.

     

Using Your Fire Extinguisher

 

Before Using a Fire Extinguisher...

 

  • Tell someone of your intentions to fight the fire, and have them tell the fire department when they arrive

     

  • Be sure that the fire department has been called.

     

  • Be certain to keep an exit to your back.

     

Understand the different classes of fires
There are three basic classes of fires.  All fire extinguishers are labeled using standard symbols for the classes of fires they can put out.  A red slash through any of the symbols tells you that the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire.  A missing lettered symbol tells you that the extinguisher has not been rated for that given class of fire

 

CLASS A - Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber and many plastics.

 

CLASS B - Flammable liquids such as oil, gasoline, grease, tar, lacquers and thinners.

 

CLASS C - Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, machines and appliances that are plugged in.

 

Fire extinguishers should be installed in plain view near an escape route and away from potential fire hazards.   Feel free to ask Livonia Fire & Rescue personnel for advice on the best locations.

 

Fighting the Fire
To fight the fire, remember the word "PASS".

 

P - Pull the pin or latch

 

A - Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire

 

S - Squeeze the handle

 

S - Sweep from side to side at the base of fire

 

Knowing how the use a fire extinguisher is only one aspect of good fire safety.  Other key elements are;

 

  • Installing and maintaining smoke detectors.

     

  • Having an escape plan and practicing it regularly.

     

  • Keeping your property as fire-safe as possible, both indoors and out.

     
IAFF Local 1164
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