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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home fires are America's biggest disaster threat.

Don't be a Victim this Holiday Season!

The American Red Cross responds to approximately 180 home fires a day! And, they remain committed to teaching people the skills they need to help prevent home fires, and to providing shelter, food, counseling and other services to help home fire victims get back on their feet.
They have teamed up with the world's largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot, to share fire safety and prevention information with local communities. To register for a fire safety clinic at your local store, click here.
Make Your Home "Fire Safe"
Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
• If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas, too.
• Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries once a year.
• Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
• Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
• Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.
• Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
Plan Your Escape Routes
• Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
• Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
• Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
• Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
Escape Safely
• Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor's home.
• If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
• If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
• If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.
Contact your Local Red Cross Chapter for more information on home fire prevention and safety.

Stay safe this holiday season!