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National Fire Prevention Week Safety Reminders

MRFD First Responders in action

MRFD First Responders in action

Sedona AZ (October 8, 2013)The biggest disaster threat to American families isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes; it’s fire. The American Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes, and nearly all of these are home fires.

Fortunately, most home fires can be prevented. Home fires can strike quickly and without warning, devastating lives and property. This is why the Red Cross emphasizes preparedness and prevention, especially now during National Fire Prevention Week. 

It is each family’s responsibility to be prepared with information and easy-to-take action steps. The Red Cross recommends two steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.

Smoke alarms save lives. Place smoke alarms on every level of the home and in sleeping areas. Smoke rises, so put the alarm on the ceiling or high on the wall. Be sure to test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Teach children the sound of smoke alarms and what to do when one alerts.

How would you and your family escape a home fire? Fire escape planning involves establishing routes to safety and a meeting place where members of the household can go once they’ve gotten out. Every household member should know two ways out of every room of the house. To escape, crawl low to avoid harmful smoke. Check doors for heat and flames and use a safe exit. Never open a hot door. In the event of a home fire, there’s no time to grab valuables. Remember to get out and stay out and then call 9-1-1. 

Sedona VOC apartment fire

Sedona VOC apartment fire

Cooking and heating are the leading causes of home fires. Keep an eye on what you fry; never leave cooking food unattended.

If the pan catches fire, don’t move it. Slide a pan lid or cookie sheet on top of the pan to take the air away and put the fire out. Turn off the heat. Keep the lid on the pan until it cools. Never try to stop a grease or oil fire with water – it will only make the fire bigger. Fires can also start when the heat is too high. When frying food, if you see smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off. Children and pets should be at least three feet away from the stove.

Knowledge about fire prevention and safety is knowledge you can apply today. Visit www.redcross.org to learn more. Share what you know with friends and loved ones. Together, we can make our communities safer.

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For the best in Arizona news and views, read www.SedonaEye.com daily!

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