Home Safety Tips
Emergency Situations – Call 999 for Fire, Police or Ambulance. Give your name, the location and nature of the emergency and stay on the line with the operator until instructed to hang up.
E.D.I.T.H. - Exit Drills In The Home is a plan you make to escape fire in your home. Fires in the home are the cause of many deaths. In fact, 70 percent of all fatalities by fire occur in private residences. And, most of these could have been prevented if the families had a fire escape plan and if they had practiced the plan regularly.
• Draw escape plans (include two means of escape) and post them next to the door of all
• bedrooms or other rooms where children may be.
• Practice fire drills and alternate escape routes making sure children can work all the windows, doors and locks they may have to use to escape.
• Have a designated meeting place outside. Count heads to be sure all are accounted for.
• Never re-enter a burning house to try to save valuables or even to rescue a pet.
• Decide now which neighbor's house to call the fire
• department from.
• Inform the arriving firefighters if someone is trapped or missing.
Working Smoke Detectors - double your chances of surviving a fire. One should be placed on each level of your home and outside each sleeping area.
• Check operation monthly by pushing the test button.
• Change batteries regularly
• Keep them clean and dust free.
• Replace the bulb (if it is a photoelectric detector) every
• three years.
Fire Extinguishers - The best type for a homeowner is an ABC Dry Chemical extinguisher. It is capable of putting out
Combustible, - Flammable Liquid/Grease, and Electrical fires. Keep easily accessible. The most common places are kitchen, basement and garage (having one in each is better). Get them tested after each discharge and annually by a licensed service company. Buy only "listed" or "labeled" extinguishers.
Before you decide to fight the fire, follow these steps:
Call the fire department.
Make sure everyone has evacuated the house.
Be certain the fire doesn't block your escape route.
Do not attempt to fight the fire if it has spread beyond it's immediate area. It's too large and your extinguisher will last only 3 to 20 seconds.
P.A.S.S. - The fire is still small and you have decided to use your extinguisher. Do you already know how to operate it? After a fire has started is not the time to learn how to use your extinguisher.
Familiarize yourself with your particular model and remember PASS.
Pull the pin.
Aim at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle.
Sweep from side to side.
1997 - 51 People
1998 - 45 People
In 1998 45 people lost their lives in fires. In 70% of those cases no smoke detector was present.
What is carbon monoxide?????
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and deadly gas. It is almost the same density of air, not heavier nor lighter, so it mixes freely with it. Because you can't see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know its there. CO is breathed in and bonds with the hemoglobin in your blood, displacing the oxygen you need. It will eventually displace enough to suffocate you from the inside out, resulting in death or brain injury.
What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms can be mistaken for those accompanying the flu. They may include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, and confusion. If you feel better after being away from the house for a period of time, you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Medical studies have determined that a high percentage of the population are particularly vulnerable to CO, including low levels over longer periods of time. This high risk group includes fetuses, children, the elderly and those with heart and lung disorders
Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?
It is a by-product anything that burns. It comes from gas or oil fired appliances such as furnaces, dryers, stoves, water heaters, fireplaces and barbecues. It can also come from wood burning stoves and fireplaces and Vehicle engines.
All of these sources can contribute to a CO problem in the home. If a home is vented properly and is free from appliance malfunctions, air pressure fluctuations or airway blockages, carbon monoxide will most likely be safely vented to the outside. But in today’s energy-efficient homes this is frequently not the case. Insulation meant to keep warm air in during winter months can trap CO-polluted air in a home year-round. Furnace heat exchangers can crack, vents can become blocked, inadequate air supply for combustion appliances can cause conditions known as backdrafting or reverse stacking, which force contaminated air back into the home.
VEHICLE AIR BAGS
The AIR BAG That Saves Your Life Could KILL your Child
Air Bags and Children
When traveling in vehicles with children 12 old and younger, they should be in the back seat. This is the safest place in the vehicle. Each child should be properly restrained using a child safety seat or safety belt, depending on his or her size. NEVER put an infant in the front seat of a passenger side air bag equipped vehicle.
If a child must be placed in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with air bags;
1) The seat needs to be pushed all the way back;
2) The child needs to sit with his/her back against the seat back; and
3) the child should be buckled securely with minimal belt slack.
This will reduce the forward movement in a crash and maximize air bag effectiveness.
Air Bags and Short, Elderly or Pregnant Persons
ALL drivers and passengers should do the following:
v Always buckle-up with slack at a minimum
v Sit as far back as possible, tilting the seat slightly rearward
v Adjust the tilt steering wheel toward the chest
v Hold the steering wheel from the sides
Short, pregnant or elderly vehicle occupants who follow these recommendations will maximize the life saving benefits of air bags and safety belts.
FAQ About Air Bag Related Injuries and Children
Danger to Children
Question: Why are air bags dangerous to children age 12 and under?
Answer: Air bags inflate at speeds up to 200 mph. That blast of energy can severely hurt or kill passengers and drivers who are too close to the air bag. An infant’s head in a rear facing safety seat is directly in front of the air bag as it breaks through the dashboard and instantly inflates. Even some forward facing child safety seats could possibly place the child within range of the air bag before it is fully inflated. Also, if a child is unbelted, or too small for the lap and shoulder belts to fit properly, or wriggling around or leaning forward, there is a danger that the child will be too close to the dashboard during that instant that the air bag begins to inflate.
Importance of Safety Belts
Question: How can an air bag work so well for adults, but hurt children in the front passenger seat?
Answer: An average size adult who is correctly belted is not likely to come in contact with the air bag until it is fully inflated. A fully inflated air bag spreads the force of the crash across a wide area of the body. Even an unbelted adult will probably come in contact with the air bag at the chest area after the air bag has at least partially inflated. For greatest protection, both the driver and front passengers should be correctly belted and the seats moved back as far as practical to allow ample space for the air bag to expand. Unbelted or improperly belted children can easily slide off of the seat during pre-crash braking, throwing them against the dashboard where the air bag can strike them on the head or neck with tremendous force before it is fully inflated. The air bag only inflates in front end crashes and collapses immediately. For protection in all types of collisions it is very important to always use both the lap and shoulder belts.
Being Smothered by an Air Bag
Question: Is it true that a passenger can be smothered by an air bag?
Answer: NO! The injuries that occur are caused by the inflating bag hitting the head and neck of an out of position passenger or the inflating bag hitting the back of an infant seat behind a baby’s head. The air bag loses its air right after it inflates, so the stiff fabric does not remain over the passenger’s face.
Electrical Check List
Check all household items to prevent shock or fire.
v Replace frayed or cracked cords
v Remove cords from under carpeting or furniture
v Avoid overloading extension cords
v Read the label on (UL) or (FM) approved cords for proper electrical rating
v Replace or repair appliances that do not operate properly
v Plug in portable appliances only when in use
v Do not cut the third prong (ground) off your appliance plug. The third prong is there to prevent electric shock
Have a professional electrician check for faulty wiring, especially if your moving into an older home. Be certain your wiring is professional and can handle today’s sophisticated electrical needs.
Never use an electrical appliance for anything other than its intended use. Hair dryers aren’t meant to dry clothing, and ovens aren’t intended to heat your home.
Unplug all counter-top appliances when not in use, including toasters, space-heaters, coffee makers and irons. When plugged into an outlet, all appliances still have dangerous electrical voltages inside of them - even when they're turned off.
Keep appliances and their cords away from water. If an appliance falls into the water, don't retrieve it until you've unplugged the appliance. Don't use the product again until you've had it inspected and repaired by a qualified technician. Water conducts electricity, so water-damaged products can give you a lethal electric shock.
v Unnecessary high wattage may lead to a fire through overheating
v Replace bulbs with a bulb of the correct type and wattage
v If you are not sure, only use a 60 watt bulb
Replace light bulbs with bulbs of equal or lower wattage than that recommended by the manufacturer. Using light bulbs of higher than recommended wattage can cause the lamp or fixture to overheat and start a fire.
Halogen Floor Lamps
Never place materials such as clothing and towels on top of a halogen torchiere lamp (a torchiere has an exposed lightbulb on top of the fixture, directing the light to the ceiling). Although halogen bulbs use less energy than incandescent bulbs, they burn much hotter.
Never place a halogen torchiere lamp near an open window where a strong breeze could blow drapery onto the lamp bulbs.
Never use halogen torchiere lamps in children's bedrooms or playrooms.
Don't use a bulb higher than 300 watts in your halogen torchiere lamps.
Avoid leaving high-wattage (more than 100-watts) halogen lamps on when you leave the room or when you are not at home.
Never touch a halogen bulb with bare fingers. Even a bulb that has been turned off for several hours can burn you, and your skin oils will damage the bulb.
Clean your fireplace regularly and have the chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
Use a screen around the fireplace to protect your home from popping embers.
Extinguish the fire before you go to sleep. Place embers in a closed metal container on a fire-proof surface.
Never start a fire or try to revive one with gasoline or other flammable liquids.
Trim tree branches back at least 10 feet from your chimney.
Smoking and Matches
Smoking is still the leading cause of deadly home fires. Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy!
Never empty ashtrays into the rubbish shortly after smoking. Wait several hours for the smoldering embers to completely extinguish themselves.
Thoroughly check both sides of the couch and chair cushions for dropped ashes.
If a cushion or couch has been burned or scorched, put it outside away from the house overnight and call the fire brigade.
Never smoke or light matches near flammable materials.
Teach children the danger the playing with matches. Keep matches away from children's reach.
It may never be necessary to sweep chimneys of homes heated by oil or gas. Any problem with the chimney should be spotted during the annual inspection of the furnace performed by a qualified, knowledgeable professional. However, it is necessary to sweep regularly chimneys of homes heated by solid