Fire safety begins with everyone in your household. Following simple safety measures can ensure that you prevent a home fire or, should a fire occur, that you can get out safely.
Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of aotentially deadly fire and could reduce the risk of dying from a fire in your home by almost half.
On every level of your home, in each sleeping room and outside the sleeping area.
A smoke alarm should have a button to push to test and make sure it is working. You should test smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Replace any smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old. Smoke alarms do not last forever!
Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill up with smoke and become engulfed in flames.
Make sure you know how to escape from every room in your home and that you know how to open windows and use escape ladders. The best plan should have two ways out of each room. If the primary route, like a door hallway or other room, is blocked, plan to escape out of a window or other way out. Make sure that windows are not stuck and screens or security bars can be removed easily from the inside.
Do not waste time saving property. Exit out the safest way, making sure to stay low below the smoke. Do not go back into a burning building for any reason, and alert firefighters if anyone is left inside.
As part of your escape plan, you should designate a meeting location safely away from your home but not too far that family members could be separated. Make sure to call 9-1-1 once you have evacuated.
More and more people are making their homes in woodland and natural settings. There you can enjoy the beauty of the environment but also face the very real danger of wildfire. Preventing wildfires and being prepared for them is a very real danger. In Columbia County, we have a mix of rural and urban environments that could potentially be at risk for wildfire.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you and your home is protected:
If you are warned of a wildfire in your area, listen to the radio or television news for reports and evacuation information. If authorities issue an evacuation notice, do so immediately. Here are some more tips for preparing to evacuate:
For more information about Wildfire Prevention and Protection, you can visit the United States Fire Administration.