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Life Safety

How to Prepare Your Home in Case of Fire

This is a guest post by Sally Davidson. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

If your home fire alarm woke you up in the middle of the night, would you know what to do? If not, here are some steps you can take to create a home fire escape plan.

1. Make an Escape Plan – Work together with your family to draw a map of your home – graph paper makes this easy. Mark the location of all doors and windows as well. Then designate two ways to escape from every room, giving special consideration to the bedrooms.

2. Discuss Responsibilities – Another important part of your escape plan should take into account any family members who might need help escaping, such as the very young or those with disabilities. Give each family member specific responsibilities. For example, siblings who sleep in the same room can wake each other up. Emphasize that you will work as a team.

3. Choose Meeting Places – You should choose two meeting places. The first should be an obvious place outside your home. The second should be further away, such as at the end of the street, in case it isn’t safe to be so close to the house. Mark these places on the escape plan.

4. Emergency Contacts – Post emergency numbers next to every phone in your house and program them into your cell phone. Designate a friend or relative who lives nearby as your emergency contact person. Make sure your children have this number memorized, along with your own address and number.

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How to Perform a Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection

This is a guest post by Nick at Guardian Fire Protection. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

There’s nothing more important than having well-maintained fire extinguishers in your building – the keyword being “well-maintained”! It’s important to have your fire extinguishers professionally inspected once a year, but it’s arguably MORE important to inspect them yourself every month! Fortunately, it’s hard to go wrong with your monthly fire extinguisher inspection – it’s actually pretty easy.

Monthly Fire Extinguisher Self-Inspection

Monthly fire extinguisher inspections don’t need to be exhaustive – just a quick check over should be fine. And while they should not take the place of professional fire extinguisher inspections, they should definitely supplement them. The important things to check during your monthly fire extinguisher inspections are:

  • Accessibility – make sure your fire extinguishers are where they are supposed to be and are easily visible and accessible during a fire. Make sure they are kept within 25 ft of an exit and are not located in corners.
  • Physical condition – make sure that the pin in the extinguisher head is intact and the tamper seal is not broken. Also check the condition of the extinguisher shell, hose and nozzle for signs of obvious physical damage, corrosion or leakage.
  • Pressure gauge – make sure the needle on the pressure gauge is in the green –this will let you know that the extinguisher pressure is good. Also, lift the fire extinguisher to make sure it’s full, just in case.
  • Sign off – when you finish your fire extinguisher inspection, initial and date the back of the tag to state that you performed your fire extinguisher inspection. If you have any more fire extinguishers in your building, make sure you do the same thing for all of them.
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    Fire Safety During Home Renovation

    This is a guest post by Chuck Lorrell. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

    Are you having your home renovated? Here are 10 things you should consider to make your home fire-resistant.

    1. Fire Extinguishers – Make sure that there is a portable fire extinguisher on the worksite. Depending on the size of the project, you may want to have more than one. Even a small fire can create major damage if it isn’t taken care of immediately. Multi-purpose models (Type ABC) are best for a construction site.

    2. Existing Alarms – Never disconnect your fire and burglar alarms during a home renovation project. If sanding or plaster work is being done, you may want to consider putting a plastic bag over them during the day, but don’t forget to take them off when work is finished.

    3. Sprinklers – For a larger project, you may want to consider installing a residential sprinkler system, which can provide protection against a major fire.

    4. Clean Up – Make sure that scrap materials and debris are cleaned up from the site daily, as they can be highly combustible. Even materials like cardboard, rags, and solvents are extremely flammable, and so it is important that these are picked up as well.

    5. Doors – Doors made of solid wood or metal will resist fires much more than hollow ones.

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    What To Do In The Event Of A Vehicle Fire

    This is a guest post by Lawrence. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

    Not many occurrences are more terrifying than fires. Fires can become very dangerous and all-consuming in a very short amount of time. Even from a distance a fire is an impressive and scary natural phenomenon. One of the few times this self-sustaining chemical reaction can be even more dangerous is when someone is in close proximity with the possibility of entrapment. A vehicle fire can easily become such a scenario if the occupants do not know how to handle the situation.

    Recognition is the first step in reacting to a vehicle fire. Odors may be a good indicator of impeding danger. If the vehicle has a burning or uncommon smell coming from any area on the vehicle, a fire may be soon to follow. The vehicle may have an electrical-like odor, an odor like burning plastic, a gasoline or oil smell, or no odor at all. The second sign is smoke. Whatever the color, smoke is not normally a welcome sight coming from any part of the vehicle. And third, fire is hot. A noticeable increase in temperature may also be a bad sign.

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