Fire Safety Tips

The following information and tips are presented to you by Indiana Public Adjusters, Inc.  Diligent preparation can prevent a personal catastrophe. 4,000 people are killed every year, and 20,000 are injured, many with serious and painful burns.

  • 80% of fire and smoke fatalities occur in homes without working smoke detectors. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that smoke detectors are placed near bedrooms on every level and at the top of every stairway.
  • Have both a primary and a secondary escape plan predetermined from each room. Have a predetermined place outside for all family members to meet if there is a fire.
  • It is wise not to use extension cords without extreme care, but if absolutely necessary, make sure they are UL approved and heavy duty and never overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
  • Obviously, upstairs bedrooms should have rope ladders, and the windows must be easy to open (including the storm window).
  • Flammable materials should not be stored inside your home, but if they are, they should be stored in a cool, isolated place, preferably in a heavy-duty metal cabinet. Fumes from flammable materials are often ignited by pilot lights or the lighting of a cigarette.
  • Never smoke in bed. Hundreds of people die every year because they fall asleep with a cigarette in bed, on the sofa, or in a chair.
  • Because it is so important, we repeat it again. If a fire occurs, GET OUT IMMEDIATELY! Don’t try to grab your possessions. Don’t call 911 from your house unless everyone is out and you can call from an exterior doorway. It is best to go to the nearest neighbor’s house to call. 

  • Many fires occur in the kitchen around the stove. Do not put small pans on large burners or large pans on small burners. Do not use dish towels as pot holders, and always turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. People who cook with baggy clothes, often find them ignited by brushing against the hot burner.

  • If smoking is allowed in the house, use large ash trays. If guests are over, make sure they have large ash trays available. Always soak cigarette butts before discarding them.

  • Keep lighters and matches away from small children. Children are naturally curious of fire, and in many cities, over 50% of all fires are caused by young children. They are easily tempted to play with matches and lighters. Even worse is when they start a fire and often get scared. Then instead of yelling for help, they run and hide underneath a bed or in a closet.

  • If you believe there’s a fire but don’t know where it is, before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to touch it. Don’t open it if it feels warm. Not only will smoke instantly fill the room you are in, but by supplying the fire with a whole room of oxygen, the sudden back draft of flames may consume you almost instantly. Even if it doesn’t feel warm, open it very slowly with your shoulder against it. If any smoke or heat comes in, slam it shut and use your alternate escape route.