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Family Fire Safety ...Tips for homeowners and renters.

About every 45 seconds a fire breaks out in a home somwhere in the United States. Each year fire takes close to 5,000 lives and causes billions of dollars in property damage.
These grim statistics may not mean much...unless the fire is in YOUR home or that of a loved one.

Here are some basic things you can do to help ensure the safety of your family:

A. Eliminate potential fire hazards.
B. Install and maintain smoke detectors
C. Develop and practice a family escape plan.

Eliminating Fire Hazards.
• Keep trash in covered containers and dispose of it
• Store paints, paint thinners and other flammable
materials in their original containers.. away from
fire sources.
• Clean work areas of paint, sawdust or trash after every
do-it-yourself project.
• Don't overload circuits or use frayed electrical extension
• Have all electrical wiring checked by a competent electrician
periodically, to make sure it is not faulty.
• Use only fuses and circuit breakers which bear the label of
Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) or some other recognized testing
• Never run an extension cord under a rug or behind curtains.
• Do not let large amounts of trash accumulate, either indoors or
outdoors. Clean attics, basements, closets and garages

Installing Smoke Detectors
• Install at least one smoke detector in the hallway leading to
the bedrooms.
• Consider installing additional smoke detectors, especially if
your home has more than one level.
• Make sure smoke detectors are of a type approved by
Underwriters' Laboratories or other recognized testing
• If your detectors are battery operated, check the batteries
often to make sure the unit is operational.

The ear-piercing alarm of the smoke detector may provide you and your family with the precious extra minutes that you need to escape, especially at night(when most home fires occur).

Developing A Family Escape Plan

• Sketch the layout of each floor, including windows, doors and
stairways. Make sure that every family member is familiar with
the layout.
• Work out TWO escape routes from each room and mark them clearly
on the sketch.
• Hold frequent fire drills, including some at night, so everyone
will know what to do and be able to act quickly in an emergency.
• Assign a member of the family to be responsible for the elderly
or the very young to help them escape.
• Designate a meeting place outside of the home and instruct
everyone to go there at once in case of fire.
• Count heads, stay together and DO NOT go back into the house for
personal belongings.

Source: The Insurance Information Institute. Click here to visit.

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