Did you know...
* You have no more than 3 minutes to escape a burning building?
* More people die from smoke inhalation than from fire itself?
* Fire creates so much smoke that a room turns pitch black in minutes?
* The toxic fumes created by a fire can kill you within a few breaths?
* Heat produced by a fire can exceed temperatures of more than 1000 degrees F, yet temperatures of more than 150 degrees F can cause your body to shut down?
Given above, can you get your family or the children at your child care facility out safely on a moment's notice? If you are telling yourself you "think so", that isn't good enough. You have to "know so" and without a shadow of a doubt.
The first step in any fire prevention plan is to ensure all fire alarms, sprinkler systems and extinguishers are fully operational. Follow this with a detailed escape route from every room in your home or facility. Use a piece of graph paper and draw the outline of your home marking each room, window, door and stairwell. Use arrows to make exit points. Practice your escape routes monthly to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do should a fire occur.
It is equally important to teach children fire safety. Some simple tips include:
* Showing the children how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire - have them practice the move
* Teaching them to alert an adult if they see smoke or fire
* Showing them the safe spot (where to go) once they are outside a burning building
* Borrowing books from the library that explain fire safety
* Visiting your local fire station.
And of course, saving lives begins by preventing fires. You need to:
* Keep all matches and flammables away from a child's reach
* Keep exits, doorways and stairwells free of clutter at all times
* Ensure curtains, blankets and bedspreads are not close to heat sources such as the stove, space heater, radiators, heat vents, etc.
As with anything, how much you know is not as important as what you do with what you know. Please take a moment and call your local fire department for more lifesaving fire tips.