* Always refer to the manufactures instructions / guidelines.
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
- The operator must have a clear escape route that will not be block by
- The extinguisher must match the type of fire being fought. Consider
purchasing a multipurpose type extinguisher for the, commonly referred to as an ABC
- The extinguisher must be large enough to put out the fire. Many
portable extinguishers discharge completely in as little time as 10 seconds.
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.
* 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
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
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.
Effects of Carbon Monoxide
||Slight headache, dizziness,
tiredness, and nausea in 2-3 hours.
||Life-threatening in 3 hours and
frontal headaches within 1-2 hours.
||Convulsions, nausea, and
dizziness within 45 minutes, unconsciousness within 2 hours, and death within 2-3 hours.
||Nausea, dizziness, and headache
within 1-2 minutes and death within 2-3 hours.
||Death within 1-3 minutes.
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.
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
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
If your plan includes escaping through windows,
make sure everyone can open them.
Practice unlocking doors and windows in the
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Types of Burns
- Flame burns, caused by direct contact with fire.
- Radiation burns, caused by close exposure to fire or
- 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
- Ultraviolet burns, caused by overexposure to sun or to
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
- 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.
- 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 dont 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
- 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.