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Safety Tips

Extinguishers Have Limits  E.D.I.T.H. Electricity 
Choosing Your Extinguisher STAY LOW & GO Kitchen Safety 
Carbon Monoxide  Stop, Drop And Roll Hot Water 
Portable Space Heaters  Cook Carefully Child Safety
Smoke Detectors  Matches And Lighters  Types of Burns 
Heat Stress

* Always refer to the manufactures instructions / guidelines.


Extinguishers Have Limits

Used properly, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives.

Portable extinguishers for home use are not designed to fight large or spreading fires. Even against small fires, they are useful only under certain conditions.

  • The operator must know how to use the extinguisher. Please read and understand the instructions at the time of purchase.
  • The extinguisher must be within easy reach an in working order, fully charged.
  • The operator must have a clear escape route that will not be block by fire.
  • The extinguisher must match the type of fire being fought. Consider purchasing a multipurpose type extinguisher for the, commonly referred to as an ABC type extinguisher.
  • The extinguisher must be large enough to put out the fire. Many portable extinguishers discharge completely in as little time as 10 seconds.

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Choosing Your Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are tested by independent laboratories and labeled for the type and size of fire they can extinguish. Use these labels as a guide to purchase the kind of extinguisher that suits your needs. Contact a local Fire Extinguisher sales company from your Yellow Pages. This type of company can answer all you questions dealing with the many type and sizes of extinguishers.

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 the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire. A missing symbol tells you only that the extinguisher has not been tested for a given class of fire.

PASS - Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep

 
 

 

 

* These graphics provided by Amerex Extinguisher Company http://www.amerex-fire.com/howto.html

Remember, in some cases it may be dangerous to use any type of extinguisher. Getting yourself and others to safety is the main objective.

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Carbon Monoxide

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING! The killer that can't be seen, smelled, tasted or heard! Hundreds of people needlessly die each year form this killer. Carbon Monoxide, "CO", is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and toxic gas. Breathing too much "CO" deprives the body of oxygen and can cause physical impairment and/or death by asphyxiation.

Sources: Carbon monoxide is produced from the incomplete combustion of wood, fuel oil, propane, butane, gasoline, kerosene, or natural gas.  Symptoms of "CO" poisoning: A person exposed to carbon monoxide may exhibit flu-like symptoms. i.e. dizziness, nausea, tightness in the chest, headache, and/or fatigue.  If "CO" poisoning is suspected, move the victim into fresh air if possible. Open doors and windows to improve ventilation. Call for medical assistance if the symptoms are severe.

What can YOU do to prevent "CO" poisoning! Never burn a charcoal or wood grill indoors or in a garage. Never sit in a parked car with the engine running and the windows closed. Never operate a car in an enclosed area such as a garage. Never operate kerosene or propane heaters indoors without proper ventilation. Never use the gas range or oven for home heating. Never block or close a source of combustion air to a heat producing appliance. Never close the damper of a fire place unless the fire is completely out. Never operate a furnace without the fan compartment door in place. Never use heat-producing appliances that are not properly installed and maintained regularly. Follow manufacture's recommendation for maintenance.

 

The Effects of Carbon Monoxide

200 PPM Slight headache, dizziness, tiredness, and nausea in 2-3 hours.
400 PPM Life-threatening in 3 hours and frontal headaches within 1-2 hours.
800 PPM Convulsions, nausea, and dizziness within 45 minutes, unconsciousness within 2 hours, and death within 2-3 hours.
6,400 PPM Nausea, dizziness, and headache within 1-2 minutes and death within 2-3 hours.
12,800+ PPM Death within 1-3 minutes.

 

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Portable Space Heaters

Portable / Space Heaters:  *Maintain a 36" clearance around all heating devices. Never leave children or pets unsupervised around portable heaters. Never place clothes close to or on portable heaters to dry. Always check to see that electrical wires are in good condition and not frayed. Follow manufacturer's instructions for installation, maintenance and use. Use only the recommended fuel. (NEVER USE GASOLINE) Keep anything that can burn at least (3) feet away from heater Fireplaces / wood stoves.  Have your chimney inspected by a professional before every heating season. Always have your screen in place on your fireplace Burn only wood. Do not burn newspapers or wrapping paper. Have your main heating equipment inspected and cleaned before the heating season.

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Smoke Detector

Smoke Detectors

 

SMOKE DETECTORS: Smoke detectors are critical to surviving a night time fire in your home. Smoke detectors can awaken you in the event of a fire. Detectors should be placed on the ceiling or on the wall 6 to 12 inches from the ceiling and should be placed in each bedroom on every floor including the basement. Make sure that your batteries are changed twice a year ( A good time to do this is when you change your clocks) or whenever a detector chirps to signal low battery power. Clean your smoke detectors at least once a year with a vacuum.

Test your detector monthly here's how  Smoke Detector Test

 

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E.D.I.T.H.

IF A FIRE BREAKS OUT in your home, you have to get out FAST. Use Exit Drills In The Home to help prepare your response. Be sure that everyone knows which way to escape from your sleeping area. Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will meet after they escape. Have your entire household practice your escape plan at least twice a year (maybe when changing your smoke detector battery).

  • Draw a floor plan.

  • Agree on a meeting place.

  • Make the drill realistic.

  • Crawl and pretend that the house is filled with smoke.

  • If your plan includes escaping through windows, make sure everyone can open them.

  • Practice unlocking doors and windows in the dark.

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STAY LOW & GO

During a fire, smoke and poisonous gases rise with the heat. The air is cleaner near the floor. Craw to the nearest exit.

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Stop, Drop And Roll

If your clothes catch fire. Stop: Don't run. Drop: Drop immediately to the floor. Roll: Cover your face with your hands and roll over and over to smother the flames.  
 

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Cook Carefully

Never leave cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear clothes with short, rolled-up or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Turn pot handles inward on the stove where you can't bump them and children can't grab them. If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the heat. Leave the lid on until cool.

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  Matches And Lighters Are Tools, Not Toys

In a child's hand, matches and lighters can be deadly. Use only child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where small children can't see or reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, and should be used only by adults. Teach young children to tell a grown-up they know if they find matches or lighters; older children should bring matches or lighters to an adult immediately.

Matches       Lighter

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Use Electricity Safely

If an electrical appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, then have it serviced before using it again. Replace any electrical cord that is cracked or frayed. Don't overload extension cords or run them under rugs. Do not' tamper with your fuse box or use improper-size fuses.

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In the kitchen

  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Stay nearby at all times when cooking, even with microwave ovens.
  • Keep children and pets away from cooking food. Enforce a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet (1 meter) around your stove when cooking.
  • Turn pot handles inward. Never leave them sticking out where they could be bumped or grabbed by a small child.
  • Don't leave spoons or other utensils in pots while cooking.
  • Turn burners and ovens off when they're not in use.
  • Keep plenty of sturdy oven mitts or pot holders near your cooking area. Using a wet pot holder can result in a severe steam burn.
  • Do not toss wet foods into deep-fat fryers or frying pans containing hot grease or oil. The violent reaction between the fat and water will splatter hot oil.
  • Remove the lids from pots of cooking liquids carefully to prevent steam burns. Remember, steam is hotter than boiling water.
  • If a pan of food catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. It is dangerous to attempt to carry the pan to the sink.
  • In microwave ovens, use only containers designed for microwave use. Let microwave-cooked foods or liquids cool before carefully removing their covers.
  • If you turn microwave foods during their cooking cycle, remember that the oven may be cool but the containers and food are very hot.

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Hot Water

  • Adjust your water-heater's thermostat to no more than 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) to prevent scalds.
  • Always turn on the cold water faucet first, then add hot water.

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Child Safety

  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach -- up high, preferably in a locked cabinet. Use only child-resistant lighters.
  • Do not allow children to play near wood stove or fireplace fires or around working space heaters.
  • Cover unused wall outlets with safety caps and replace all damaged, frayed, or brittle electrical cords.
  • Do not leave hot irons unattended.
  • Do not leave barbecue grills unattended, and supervise children's cookout activities, such as toasting marshmallows.
  • Teach your children that steam radiators, stove burners, irons, and other familiar household objects are sometimes hot and can burn them.
  • Test bath water by carefully circulating hand and lower arm through it before putting children in the bathtub. Provide constant supervision while bathing children.

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Types of Burns  
 

  • Flame burns, caused by direct contact with fire.
  • Radiation burns, caused by close exposure to fire or high heat.
  • Scalds, caused by hot liquids or steam.
  • Contact burns, the result of touching hot objects.
  • Chemical burns, caused by contact with corrosive chemicals, such as battery acid.
  • Electrical burns, caused by contact with live electrical wires.
  • Ultraviolet burns, caused by overexposure to sun or to sun lamps.

A matter of degrees

Burns are classified by the amount of damage done to the skin and other body tissue. Every family member should be able to identify the severity of burns and know how to treat them.

  • First-degree burns are minor and heal quickly. Symptoms: reddened skin; tender and sore.
  • Second-degree burns are serious injuries and require immediate first aid and professional medical treatment. Symptoms: blistered skin; very painful
  • Third-degree burns are sever injuries and require immediate professional medical treatment. Symptoms: white, brown, or charred tissue; often surrounded by blistered areas; little or no pain at first.

First aid for burns Cool the burn: For first- and second-degree burns, cool the burned area -- preferably with cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes. This lowers the skin temperature, which stops the burning process, numbs the pain, and prevents or reduces swelling. Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention. Remove burned clothing: Lay the victim flat on his or her back. Burned clothing may be stuck to the victim's skin. Unless material is on fire or smoldering, do not attempt to remove it. Remove jewelry or tight-fitting clothing from around burned areas before swelling begins and, if possible, elevate the injured areas. Cover the burn: After a first- or second-degree burn has been cooled, apply a clean, dry dressing to the burned area. Don't apply butter or any other grease (including medicated ointments) on a burn. Grease holds in heat, which could make the injury worse. Don't break blisters: This could allow germs to enter the wound. Treat for shock: To reduce the risk of shock, keep the victim's body temperature normal. Cover unburned areas with a dry blanket.
 
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    HEAT STRESS

  • If you feel yourself getting light headed, dizzy, weak, cramps etc., STOP what you are doing and take a break in a cooler area.
  • Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids to replace what your body is losing, up to one quart of water each hour.  For this reason, you may need to drink a glass of water every 15 - 20 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • AVOID alcoholic beverages and caffeine (coffee. colas, tea) because they increase water loss from the body by increasing urination and change of blood flow available to the skin for cooling.
  • Be aware that certain medical problems such as cardiac compromise, lung disorders that result in shortness of breath or wheezing, uncontrolled hypertension. (high blood pressure), kidney malfunction and certain medications may increase individual susceptibility to heat.
  • Review both prescription and over-the-counter medications you may be taking with your doctor. Some blood pressure, diuretics, allergy and cold medications, for example, may influence your ability to work safely in heat stress environments.
  • Keep your body fit. Overweight contributes to heat stress. Do not overeat or use alcohol before or during potential heat stress situations. A "hangover" or lack of rest the night before can make you more susceptible to heat stress. So can dieting or skipping breakfast. Eating lightly is best.
  • Plan ahead. Do the most strenuous work during the cooler periods of the day. Consider whether portable fans or air conditioning equipment to cool the work area are practical.
  • Rest often to give your body a chance to cool off. Short frequent breaks in cool areas are more effective than infrequent long ones.
  • Acclimatize yourself. Gradually increase the amount of time spent in the heat It takes most individuals about one week to build up tolerance to heat. During this time, the body adapts to become more efficient .at cooling. Heart rate decreases, sweating increases with a reduction in the amount of salt lost. EXTRA CARE is needed during the first "hot spells" of summer. The acclimatization effect is lost over a period of a week or more away from working in heat. When you return, you must start the gradual acclimatization process again.
  • Wear light colored, cotton clothing. The light color will reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, and the cotton is pervious, which will allow the air to cool your skin.
  • If you or someone you are with experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stress - seek immediate medical help, and cool the person down as quickly as possible.

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