By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– April 24 is Safe Kids Day. Use this day as an opportunity for the whole family to review fire safety in the home. Teach children when to check smoke detectors and how often to change the battery, create a family escape plan and practice it together, and learn how to properly select and use a fire extinguisher.
Testing Smoke Detectors
Test your smoke detectors every month to make sure it is working properly. Batteries should be changed twice a year, and disposed correctly and safely at a household hazardous waste facility. You can find the closest collection site at www.sbcfire.org.
Make sure everyone knows what your smoke detectors’ beep sounds like. There is a difference between an emergency beep and the low battery chirp. When it does chirp, don’t ignore it! Working smoke detectors save lives, change the batteries it tells you to!
Family Escape Plan
Once a fire breaks out, you need to know what to do. A moment hesitation can be dangerous or even fatal. By preparing and practicing an escape plan, you have a better chance of surviving a fire. Designate a meeting spot outside of the home; the end of the driveway, a specific sign, maybe a park across the street. Somewhere everyone will remember in an emergency.
Make sure that there are at least two ways to exit every room. If you live in a multi-level apartment or condo building, use the stairs. Never use the elevator! Stay low and touch all doors for heat before you open them. If the door is hot, use an alternate escape. If the door is not hot, open it slowly. Be prepared to close it quickly if you see smoke or feel fire coming towards you. Close the door as you exit any room. Smoke and heat rise. Staying low will help you breathe clearer air that is near the floor
After you have your plan created, practice it as a family. Everyone should start the fire drill in their bedrooms with the door closed. Test the door. If it’s hot, use an alternate escape. Crawl fast and stay low to escape the smoke. Go to your prearranged meeting place and take roll call and call the fire department from a neighbor’s house. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
Fire Extinguisher Safety
Remember to PASS; Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. There are four types of fire extinguishers; A- ordinary combustibles, B- flammable or combustible liquids, C- electrical, and D- combustible metals.
Selecting the right fire extinguisher for your needs is important. The recommended type is an ABC with a 2A:10-B:C rating (can be found at your local hardware store). Every home should have at least one, but it’s a good idea to have one in the kitchen and one in the garage. Keep your extinguishers in an unobstructed area and in clear view, making sure everyone in the home knows where they are located and how to operate one.