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South Texas Living

October is National Fire Prevention Month

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Family Features
October 3, 2012 | 1,987 views | Post a comment

No one likes to think about bad things happening to their home or family. But things like home fires do happen -- more often than you might think.

Home fires kill an average of seven people every day, and they cause billions of dollars in property damage. Here are some easy steps you and your family can take to protect your home and each other, and to under­stand the basics of fire safety. For 25 years, Energizer and the International Associa­tion of Fire Chiefs have been spreading the life-saving reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detec­tors when you change your clocks for the end

of daylight saving time. Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® is part of the Energizer campaign -- that’s positivenergy™ -- which combines a commitment to performance in pro­ducts and responsibility in partnerships and programs that make a positive impact on the world. Learn more at www.energizer.com.

Fire Facts

The United States Fire Admin­istration (USFA) believes that fire deaths can be reduced by teaching people the basic facts about fire. Here are some simple facts that explain the particular characteristics of fire.

Fire is fast.

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 thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. If you wake up to a fire, you won’t have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

Fire is hot.

A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

Fire is dark.

Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete dark­ness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in for years.

Fire is deadly.

Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, color­less fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Fire Safety Checklist

•Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.

•Best location -- On the ceiling in the center of the room, at least 12 inches from any wall. Second best location -- On a wall 12 inches below the ceiling.

•Test alarms once a month.

•Change batteries at least once a year.

•Install a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.

•Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire. Develop and practice an emergency escape plan.

•You can download a free Escape Plan Grid at www.energizer.com to help.

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