Fire is always a danger. It can be even more dangerous during a natural emergency when fire departments may not be available to help you.
- Install smoke detectors and periodically test them. Remember, smoke detectors save lives.
- Do not let trash accumulate inside a structure. Keep attics, basements, closets, and garages clean.
- Check electrical wiring and appliances regularly. Replace worn cords.
- Don't string extension wires all over the house and never use under rugs.
- Store flammable fluids at a safe distance from the house.
- Never use gasoline, benzene, or other flammable fluids indoors or near flames; these will ignite from any spark.
- Check heating system regularly. Many home fires start because of faulty furnaces.
- Don't place papers or magazines on or nearby radiators, furnaces, stoves, or fireplaces.
- Keep lampshades from touching light bulbs.
If your fire department is not available immediately--REMEMBER--three easy ways to extinguish a fire are:
- Take away its fuel
- Take away its air (smother it)
- Cool it with water or a fire extinguisher
AFTER A FIRE:
- If you are the homeowner, make sure your home is secured.
- If you are a tenant, secure your personal belongings and contact your landlord. It is the responsibility of the property owner to prevent further loss or damage to the site.
- Contact your insurance agent about estimates and loss coverage.
- Contact the Red Cross if you need temporary housing or food.
- Have an electrician check your wiring before the current is turned back on. Do not attempt to reconnect any utilities yourself.
- Discard food, beverages, and medicines that have been exposed to heat, smoke, or soot.
- Immediately after the fire, collect receipts for any money you spend. These are important for both insurance and income tax claims.
- Do not open a fireproof box until it has cooled. If the box has not cooled, the entering air combined with the high internal temperature may cause the contents to burst into flames.