Fire Safety

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Fire Safety Tips

A fire can engulf a structure in a matter of minutes. Check out the tips and information below and take time to learn and practice proper safety procedures - they can be the key to surviving a house or building fire.

Monroeville Burning Guidelines

Fire Safety for Apartment Dwellers

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Safety Tip PDFs

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Fire Safety Tips for Students

Heading Back to Campus

Whether your student is going back to school or arriving as a freshman at a new campus, safety cannot be forgotten. Here are some tips to help keep your child safe in their living environment: 

  1. Be aware of your surroundings. Headphones can drown out vital background noise. Always use crosswalks, and remove headphones when crossing streets.
  2. Fire safety never goes out of style

See It Before You Sign It Campaign

The See It Before You Sign It campaign is a collaborative program from the folks at Campus Firewatch, CPSC, NFPA, and the US Fire Administration aimed at alerting parents and students to the fire dangers posed by unsafe off-campus housing. The campaign stresses that while fie safety is not always the top priority when it comes to picking living arrangements, the reality is that 100% of fatal college-related fires since 2005 have been in off-campus facilities. Other factors such as alcohol use, smoking, and the lack of working smoke alarms have contributed to these incidents. Please take a moment to check out their site and learn about their program:

Fire Safety Tips for Older Adults

  • Discuss your fire escape plan with family and neighbors. Contact your building manager or fire department to discuss your plan if you need extra help escaping.Can you hear your alarm? If not, consider getting a strobe light or bed shaker.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure that you can go through the doorways.
  • If you can't hear your smoke alarm, consider getting one that has a different sound or one that comes with a bed shaker or strobe light.
  • Caregivers should check the smoke alarms of those who are unable to do it themselves.
  • Never smoke around medical oxygen.
  • Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Preparation and Prevention Tips

  • Install smoke detectors. Smoke detectors more than double the chance of surviving a fire. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Test the smoke detectors each month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Purchase smoke detectors labeled by the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).
  • Practice alerting other household members. It is a good idea to keep a bell and a flashlight in each bedroom for this purpose.
  • Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire will most likely make it impossible to see.
  • Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.
  • Feel all doors before opening them. If the door is hot, get out another way.
  • Learn to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if clothes catch fire.
  • Post emergency numbers near telephones. However, be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to your emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out first and place the call from somewhere else.
  • Purchase collapsible ladders at hardware stores and practice using them.
  • Install A-B-C type fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how to use them.
  • Do not store combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.
  • When cooking, keep the stove area clean and clear of combustibles such as bags, boxes, and other appliances. If a fire starts, put a lid over the burning pan or use a fire extinguisher. Be careful. Moving the pan can cause the fire to spread. Never pour water on grease fires.

Check your Electrical Wiring

  • Replace wiring if frayed or cracked.
  • Make sure wiring is not under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas. Do not overload outlets or extension cords.
  • Outlets should have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
  • Only purchase appliances and electrical devices that have a label indicating that they have been inspected by a testing laboratory such as Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).
  • Heating devices such as portable heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces demand safe operation.
  • Use portable heaters in well-ventilated rooms only.
  • Refuel kerosene heaters outdoors only.
  • Have chimneys and wood stoves cleaned annually.
  • Buy only approved heaters and follow the manufacturers' directions.

What should I do During and After a Fire?

  • Get out as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • Use the stairs to escape.
  • When evacuating, stay low to the ground.
  • If possible, cover your mouth with a cloth to avoid inhaling smoke and gases.
  • Close doors in each room after escaping to delay the spread of the fire.
  • If smoke is pouring in around the bottom of the door or it feels hot, keep the door closed.
  • Open a window to escape or for fresh air while awaiting rescue.
  • If there is no smoke at the bottom or top and the door is not hot, then open the door slowly.
  • If there is too much smoke or fire in the hall, slam the door shut.
  • Call the fire department from a location outside the house.