The frigid temperatures and harsh wintry winds that Georgia has been experiencing this year make fire safety the last thing on many people’s minds. However, fires are still the most common disaster threat each year, especially during the cold winter months. Fires kill more Americans each year than all natural disasters combined, and the Red Cross has already responded to numerous home fires across Georgia since the beginning of January. The Red Cross strongly urges families to develop a fire escape plan and take other necessary steps to protect themselves and their homes from a potential fire.
Fire safety and prevention tips:
- Smoke Alarms
- Install some alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms
- Replace batteries at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
- Kitchen Fires
- Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the burner
- Turn pot handles to the back of the stove so no one bumps into them
- When frying foods, turn the burner off if you see smoke or the grease starts to boil.
- Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby. If a pan catches on fire, covering the pan with the lid will put the fire out.
- Never try to stop a grease or oil fire with water – it will only make the fire bigger
- If something catches on fire in the oven or microwave, keep the door closed and call 911 so firefighters can make sure the fire didn’t spread to the walls
- Stop, Drop & Roll
- If a fire occurs and someone’s clothes are on fire, they should immediately stop, drop to the floor, cover their face with their hands, and roll over and over to suffocate the flames. Keep rolling until the fire is out.
- Make a Plan
- The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside the home in case of a fire.
- Just Get Out
- In case of fire, follow the escape plan. Leave the home and call the fire department from outside. Make sure everyone in the home gets out as fast possible. Once outside, stay out and call 911.