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|Home Safety Checklist - Fire and Fall|
Safety in the Home
Do you know that something as simple as closing the doors in your home is important for your safety? In fact, in a fire, a closed door can reduce fire growth, limit damage to your home, keep temperatures down and can even save your life if you become trapped. It's fascinating that something so simple could be so important.
You already know the importance of having working smoke alarms, an escape plan and a meeting place in case of a fire. Fire research is now showing us how important the simple task of closing your bedroom door is to your safety. According to UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI), fires spread faster than ever before. Forty years ago, you had 17 minutes to escape a burning home. Today, you only have three minutes or less due to synthetic furnishings, open floor plans and lightweight construction materials. The time has come to add “close your door” to your family fire safety list.
The “Close Before You Doze” campaign is designed to raise awareness and ensure that you are prepared in case of a house fire. It also demonstrates how the simple behavior of closing the doors in a house – particularly before bedtime – can potentially have a life-saving impact on those trapped inside. Below are some interesting facts.
- 50% of home fire deaths happen between 11 pm and 7 am - when most people are sleeping. Closing your door before you doze will help keep you safe.
- A closed door can mean reducing 1,000 degrees down to 100 degrees. Making a 900 degree difference.
- During a fire, a closed door can keep carbon monoxide levels lower than if the door is left open.
- A fire needs oxygen to burn. A closed door keeps more oxygen in the room and away from the fire. When you exit a fire, make sure to close your door behind you to slow down its growth.
Learn more at www.closeyourdoor.org
Youtube video: Close Before You Doze
To protect your home and family from the dangers of a fire, it is important to understand just how fast a fire can spread. Once a fire breaks out in your home, you have just seconds to escape. In just minutes, that fire can turn life-threatening. In less than five minutes, your entire home could become engulfed by the flames. A scary reality.
The Marion Fire Department (MFD) wants to keep you safe. The best way to survive a home fire is to escape it, and that means having a home fire safety plan. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. The MFD wants you to PLAN AHEAD by following the National Fire Protection Agency’s (NFPA) step-by-step guide on how to create a home fire safety plan for your family to protect them against the unthinkable.
- MAKE a home escape plan.
- DRAW a map of your home including all doors and windows.
- DISCUSS the plan with everyone in your family.
- KNOW at least two ways out of every room.
- MAKE sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
- HAVE an outside meeting place (like a tree or neighbor's mailbox) that is a safe distance from your home.
- TEACH children how to get out on their own, in case you can't help them.
- ASSIGN someone in the family to assist infants, seniors, or anyone else that would require help getting out.
- PRACTICE your home fire drill during the night AND during the day.
- PRACTICE using a different way out.
- CLOSE doors behind you when you leave.
IF THE ALARM SOUNDS…………..
GET OUT and STAY OUT!. Never go back into a burning house for people or pets.
If you have to escape through smoke, GET LOW AND GO under the smoke to your way outside
Having a fire in your home is a scary thought. But if you have an escape plan for your family to get out safely, you'll be better prepared if the unimaginable occurs. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.The Key to your family’s safety is planning and practicing a home fire escape plan.
This could save your life!
Fires in homes today burn hotter and faster than ever. According to UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI), forty years ago you had about 17 minutes to escape a home fire. Today, you have about three minutes. Three minutes or less is all the time you may have to escape a fire in your home. Fires today produce more black and toxic smoke because of synthetic materials, furniture and construction. Fires today are more dangerous than ever.
You already know that smoke alarms can save your life by alerting you of smoke and fire, giving you time to escape. Did you know there is something else that you could do to protect you and your family? Yep, there is and they are called Residential Sprinkler Systems.
Residential fire sprinkler systems are a proven way to protect lives and property against fires at home. The cost of adding a sprinkler system is surprisingly reasonable. Adding a sprinkler system in a NEW home costs about $1.35 per sprinklered square foot- similar to the cost of a carpet upgrade, paving stone driveway or a whirlpool bath, about $2,500. If you are building a new home or remodeling an existing home, consider installing a home fire sprinkler system.
Wondering how a residential fire sprinklers works? Well, it’s pretty simple. When a fire starts and there is a sprinkler system, the fire is extinguished in the same room that the fire started in not allowing the fire to spread to other parts of the house which can cut off your exit path to the door. The fire remains small which reduces the amount of smoke produced during a fire. Smoke is what kills most people in a fire!
Once there is enough heat created by the fire, only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. Almost all fires are extinguished by just one sprinkler head, with just a few requiring two sprinkler heads to activate.
You might be concerned about water damage from a sprinkler system. Numerous studies have proven that you will have significantly more damage from fire and smoke spread then you will from water damage caused by the sprinkler system. No doubt that there will be some minor water damage from the sprinkler until the fire department arrives to shut down the system, but it is much less than a fire that is spreading throughout your house.
The fire department will use roughly 10x as much water as a fire sprinkler would use. Fire sprinklers can reduce damage by up to 71%, and water usage to fight a home fire by as much as 91%. I guess you could say they are environmentally friendly.
Maintaining residential fire sprinklers is easy. All you have to do is inspect the sprinklers to make sure they are not blocked and that the main control valve is never turned off. Guidelines have been created for the proper installation of systems to avoid pipes freezing, so no need to worry about the Iowa winters. Home fire sprinkler system should be winterized the same as you winterize a domestic water supply.
Consider a home fire sprinkler system today. There is no question that there is a cost to putting a sprinkler system into a house. There is also no question that a sprinkler system will save your home in the event of a fire and more importantly can save the life of your family members! The Marion Fire Department is encouraging you to put in a home fire sprinkler system.
If you have any questions, please contact the Marion Fire Department at 319.377.8237.
More information: Residential Home Sprinklers
Cooking brings family and friends together and can be relaxing and fun. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries? The vast majority of fires in Marion are cooking fires. The most common cause is unattended cooking- when someone started cooking on the stove or oven and then walked away.
Not only can cooking fires cause thousands of dollars of property damage by setting a house on fire, but there is also the scarier risk of causing burn injuries or even death to your family or neighbors. Kitchen fire safety is a serious issue; home fires start in the kitchen more often than any other area in the home.
In an effort to prevent cooking related fires from becoming out of control, the MFD recommends installing a vent hood fire suppression unit - a new product to help combat cooking fires. This vent hood fire suppression unit is an automatic fire extinguisher that attaches magnetically under the vent hood over a stovetop. When a stovetop or oven fire occurs and the flame reaches the canisters, the fire suppressing powder is automatically released onto the fire. These are an inexpensive way to prevent a cooking fire from becoming a large house fire. It’s like a fire extinguisher or fireman in a can.
Cooking fires, even those that start small, can quickly rage out of control. It takes only two minutes for a fire to turn from manageable to life-threatening, and only five before the house is engulfed in flames. A small preventive measure such as installing a vent hood fire suppression unit can help avoid substantial property damage, injury or loss of life. It could be the difference between a minor kitchen fire and a devastating disaster.
The Marion Fire Department encourages people to install these types of devices and to stay in the kitchen whenever you are cooking. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Marion Fire Department at 319.377.8237.
Two minutes or less........is all the time you may have to escape a fire in your home. Do you have a smoke alarms in your home? Do you know that smoke alarms can double your chances of escaping death?
Smoke alarms are essential to protecting the people in your house from a home fire. They are the most effective tool we have to prevent deaths from fire.
No matter the cause of the fire or its location, having smoke alarms and having properly functioning smoke alarms are the key to helping alert everyone to the presence of fire in time to evacuate safely. Bottom line, smoke alarms save lives! The Marion Fire Department wants to keep you safe! Follow these simple smoke alarm safety tips.
- Choose a dual sensor smoke alarm. Dual sensor contains both photoelectric (detects smoke) and ionization (detects flames) style in one detector.
- Smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area including the basement.
- A smoke alarm should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall.
- Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. Alarms should be placed at least 10 feet away from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.
- Test all smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button.
- Replace the batteries once a year.Consider setting an alert on your cell phone to remind you to test the alarms monthly and change the batteries annually.
- Some smoke alarms have batteries that can last 10 years.
- If a smoke alarm is over 10 years old, replace it with a new alarm and a new battery.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Reminder: Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a deadly mistake.
Do you or someone you know need smoke alarms? The Marion Fire Department has partnered with the American Red Cross to help ensure that everyone has smoke alarms in their home. We will install a limited number of free smoke alarms for those who cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or for those who are physically unable to install a smoke alarm. The Red Cross will install a limited number of specialized bedside alarms for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. To request a free installation, go to www.getasmokealarm.org or call the American Red Cross at 515-243-7681.
If your smoke alarm is sounding continuously and you have any doubt it is alarming because of a fire or because it is malfunctioning, please call 911 immediately.