Jumat, 27 Juli 2012

Fire Safety Tips for Children

Young children need to understand the key elements of fire safety as much as adults - in some ways more so. Many fires in the home occur at night while everyone is asleep. In these instances children may panic and if they are unaware of what to do have been known to try to hide under a bed or in a cupboard. Just about the worst place for them. When explaining fire safety it's important not to scare them, but it is information that could save their lives. For young children explaining the risk and what action to take can be incorporated into a 'fire drill game', an effective way to engage their attention without scaring them!

Important tips
  • Make sure that children know to crawl below smoke - the biggest killer in fires.
  • Teach them to check doors to see if they are hot before using metal door fittings and to use an alternative route if this is the case.
  • Be clear where escape routes are and ensure they know to use them before looking for you.
  • Never leave children, especially young children, alone in the kitchen where food is being cooked.
  • Tell children how to get help by dialing 999 or raising the alarm with neighbours and explain that they must never re-enter a burning building, even if someone is missing.

Teaching self-reliance saves lives

Consider organising a 'play' fire drill involving neighbours and their children. Although it is not something any of us want to think about, never assume you will be in a position to save your own children in a house fire. It's important that children are taught early to be self-reliant in the event of a fire and to get out safely and stay out. Hopefully you and your family will never need to put into practice your fire safety skills, but if you do, preparation can make all the difference.

Other precautions

For adults there are some simple tasks that you can complete regularly to ensure that you minimise the risk of fire breaking out in the first place. Electrical appliances should be turned off overnight. Sockets should not be overloaded as they can easily over heat. Install smoke alarms if you don't already have them and check them once a month. Children can be included in this task which is a way to raise their awareness of fire safety without frightening them! Keep an eye on what they have plugged in, in their own rooms, and rectify any problems explaining why you are doing so.

Rabu, 04 Juli 2012

Tips for Keeping Your Fireplace Safe

Fireplaces have long been both a practical and decorative home feature. Before the modern inventions of television and radio the fireplace served as a gathering place for families to share stories and stay warm on cold nights. The fireplace has had many evolutions during its creation centuries ago. Whether you live in a historic home with many elaborate wood burning fireplaces in every room or a small modern condo with a sleek gas burning unit it is important to be educated about fireplace safety. These beautiful accent features can turn deadly if they are not properly cared for. More than 36% of household fires are caused by creosote buildup or other fireplace mishaps that can be easily prevented.

The first step you can take toward keeping your family safe is to keep your fireplace clean and maintained. Scheduling an annual inspection of your chimney and fireplace is a good idea. Certified chimney specialists have the tools necessary to find, examine, and fix potential problems before they escalate. If you are designing a new fireplace you will want to choose fire resistant materials like concrete and stone to decorate walls and other surrounding areas. Also, keep the hearth clear of any flammable nick knacks or other potential fire hazards. Adding a decorative mesh screen can help contain burning embers from being blown into your room where they could be hazardous.

An out of control fire is very dangerous. When lighting a fire you should avoid using flammable liquids that can cause dangerous explosions. When you are building a fire in a wood burning fireplace the logs should be in the rear of the fireplace to keep the fire contained. Using dry hard wood will decrease the amount of build up in your chimney that can cause fires. Never leave a fire unattended, you should completely extinguish the fire in your fireplace before leaving the house.

Every house should have smoke alarms installed on every floor. Place alarms inside rooms where people will be sleeping and in hallways outside the doors of these rooms as well as in the kitchen and any room with a fireplace. You should test these alarms regularly, and change all of the batteries every 12 months. These alarms are the last line of defense to help you prevent a fire tragedy in your home.

There are also steps that can be taken outside your home to help make your fireplace safer. Many fires start in the chimney and can mover to the roof of your home. You should have a mesh screen to help prevent sparks from exiting your chimney. Keep your roof clear of all debris and check it regularly. On the roof all fireplace vents should extend no less than tree feet beyond roof height. Low hanging branches over these vents and other flues can cause unnecessary risk. Trimming these branches and also branches near your chimney will help protect your and your family.