Smoke alarms or detectors work even when you cannot smell smoke. Tips for proper use include:
Using a fire extinguisher can put out a small fire to keep it from getting out of control. Tips for use include:
Fires can be loud, burn fast, and produce lots of smoke. It is a good idea for everyone to know how to get out of their home quickly if one occurs.
Set up fire escape routes from every room in your house. It is best to have two ways to get out of each room, since one of the ways may be blocked by smoke or fire. Have twice-a-year fire drills to practice escaping.
Teach family members what to do in case of a fire.
Teach children about fires. Explain how they are accidentally started and how to prevent them. Children should understand the following:
Children's sleepwear should be snug-fitting and specifically labeled as flame-resistant. Using other clothing, including loose-fitting garments, increases the risk of severe burns if these items catch fire.
Do not allow children to handle or play with fireworks. Many places in the U.S. do not permit lighting fireworks in residential areas. Go to public displays if your family wants to enjoy fireworks.
If oxygen therapy is being used in your home, teach everyone in the family about oxygen safety to prevent fires.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Safety and prevention: what is the best way to keep my family safe from a home fire? Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/pages/Fire-Safety.aspx. Accessed August 27, 2013.
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fireworks information center. Available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/fireworks. Accessed August 27, 2013.
United States Fire Administration. Home fire prevention and safety tips. Available at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev. Accessed August 27, 2013.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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