More than 4,000
Americans die each year in fires and approximately 25,000 are injured.
An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home. There are time-tested
ways to prevent and survive a fire. It's not a question of luck.
It's a matter of planning ahead.
Should Have Smoke Alarms: The International Fire Code calls
for smoke detectors to be installed and maintained in each room
used for sleeping purposes, and in the area just outside of sleeping
areas, with at least one smoke detector on each level of the home
(including basements). Buy a smoke alarm at any hardware or discount
store. It's inexpensive protection for you and your family. A working
smoke alarm can double your chances of survival. Test it monthly,
keep it free of dust and replace the battery at least once a year.
Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after ten years of service,
or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Fires: Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place
cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.
Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or
emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.
Contact the Electrical Division of L&I for electrical questions
or concerns. They can be reached at 360-416-3000.
Wisely: When using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety
precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are
all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced
or repaired. Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets if there
are small children in the home.
Heaters: Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible
at least three feet away. Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens
and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can
ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread. Kerosene heaters
should not be used in a dwelling. Never use gasoline or camp-stove
Home Fire Safety Sprinklers: When home fire sprinklers are used
with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are
greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable - they can increase
property value and lower insurance rates.
Escape: Practice an escape plan from every room in the house.
Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire
and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone
can meet after escaping the house. Get out then call for help.
Children: Children under five are naturally curious about fire.
Many play with matches and lighters. Tragically, children set over
20,000 house fires every year. Take the mystery out of fire play
by teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy. Keep all
matches and lighters stored above the level where young children
can reach them. Many fires set by children who are curious about
fire result in fatalities.
Older People: Every year over 1,200 senior citizens die in fires.
Many of these fire deaths could have been prevented. Seniors are
especially vulnerable because many live alone and can't respond
quickly. It is especially important that this vulnerable population
has smoke detectors
Call (360) 416-1842 if you need additional fire safety information.