Fire Safety:

A friend of mine recently attended a Fire Safety Seminar and came back with some pretty interesting points that I was really surprised about and I felt I needed to share .

9 volt batteries. Most of us throw our batteries in a drawer with other items , like paper clips, scissors , and things like that. In our house we call that drawer "THE JUNK DRAWER". What I found out was on a 9 volt battery (the little square batteries with the two posts on top) are very dangerous to store in a drawer with other items and can cause a fire. If a metal object comes in contact with both posts it can cause a connection that can spark a flame in the drawer causing fire to occur. The tip that was received was to put electrical tape over the two prongs before storing in the drawer to prevent contact of the positve and negative posts with another metal object in the drawer or to leave them in the original packaging.

Also, I was not surprised to learn that most children and families do not have an escape route planned in case of a fire nor did most families perform a fire drill and plan an escape route or meeting place for the family in the event of a fire. Families should do this on a monthly or bi monthly basis especially if there are young children. Show them how to get out. Show them different routes to take depending on where the fire originates so they may have several plans of escape.

Show children how to get close to the floor where the oxygen is, smoke rises so there is more oxygen near the floor than when they are standing and if they do catch fire to roll on the ground to try to extinguish the fire.

Everyone should have a fire extinguisher in their kitchen. I have had more than one fire in my home and I have a small kitchen extinguisher under my kitchen sink. Its not a bad idea to keep some baking soda around in case of a grease fire. Never ever throw water on a grease fire. Take it from me, I did that once and that is the worst thing you can possibly do. It just makes the fire flare and burn faster and the water splatters into the grease. Throw baking soda on it at the source of the fire , like the burner .You don't have to have a fire marshal or a commercial grade extinguisher you can buy small extinguishers at most department stores like Wal-Mart.

We all should know not to ever leave pot handles and skillet handles hanging over the stove , always turn the handle away from you towards the back of the stove so someone doesn't' go by and knock the boiling water or grease off of the stove and start a fire or cause a severe burn.

Never ever store flammable liquids like gas , paint thinners, kerosene, camp fuel or any combustibles next to a gas water heater or any sort of open flame. Even an old rag with gas or some other combustible on it should never be placed near an open flame. This is very dangerous.

Christmas time is especially dangerous with real trees that are not keep hydrated with water. Make sure to pick a stand big enough for your tree. Check it DAILY! A dry tree can burn in just a couple seconds and they are like lighting gasoline. On an artificial tree that has the prestrung lights you need to check those every year to make sure that they don't have any bare wires or pinched wires or broken bulbs. Same goes with outdoor lights not a good idea to use a staple gun to put them up this can pinch through the wire and cause a fire to your home, always use plastic clips designed to hold your lights to your home.

When escaping from a fire and a window is your only alternative if you decide to throw an object through the window or hit the window with something to break it, stand to the side and turn your face away from the window to keep shards of glass from projecting into your face. Fires can cause a back draft sucking oxygen through the window when you break it. Make sure to show small children how to do this or to be able to recognize the sound of the fire alarm if it goes off.

Fire alarms are a great tool in helping to detect fire, but it will not detect it immediately, a certain amount of smoke must reach the detector for it to be effective. By the time it goes off your home may already be filled with smoke. Make sure to check you detector monthly by depressing the button to hear the audible alarm. And make it a habit to change the batteries when the time changes for daylight savings time, this is an easy rule to remember.

Fireworks: Fireworks are fun , but dangerous. Treat fireworks with caution. Never underestimate the damage that can be caused by them. Burns on the hands and to the face and eyes are common. Never throw firecrackers at people or point shooting fireworks at anyone . Make sure you are not near a home where the fireworks can land on a roof, this can cause a fire . Shoot off fireworks in a large unwooded area and make sure to handle with caution. Never pick up a firework after it has been ignited, it may go off in your hand.

Never let children play with fireworks unsupervised. It is best to leave the ignition of the fireworks up to the adults. Keep children back while lighting. The safest thing to do is to go to a public showing of fireworks and most of the time that is free.

I hope these tips have been useful. I am sure there are plenty more tips out there. If you know of any please comment.! You may be saving a life!