Too often, local news reports are filled with stories of people who have lost their home and possessions due to fire. Even more tragic is the report of a life that has been lost. Many times, these types of situations could have been prevented. The Newcastle Fire Department is committed to the safety and protection of the citizens we serve and would like to offer a few tips to help protect families and homes from the ravages of fire.
Home Safety tips include:
- Make sure your home has a working smoke detector. The fire department has free smoke detectors available for those who may not be able to purchase one.
- Make sure that smoke detector batteries are changed at least twice a year.
- Develop a home escape plan for your family and practice, practice, practice. Escape plans should include a designated meeting location away from the fire area. Once everyone has left the home, they should meet at this location. Some examples would include a large tree, a mailbox or maybe even a neighbor’s house.
- If you are out of the house, STAY OUT! People returning to the home are more likely to become trapped or lost due to smoke and fire conditions and suffer severe injuries or burns.
Home Prevention tips include:
- Keep combustible materials away from ignition sources.
- Have HVAC units cleaned and serviced at least annually.
- Have chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected at least annually.
- Store all flammable liquids in proper approved containers and away from ignition sources.
- Keep an approved fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If there is a fire as a result from cooking, never throw anything (i.e. baking soda, salt) on the fire. This can rapidly spread the fire to other locations. Cover pots and pans with a lid to smother the fire or use an extinguisher. Always seek proper training in the operation of an extinguisher before using.
Do not let your family become a news report. Practice fire prevention and fire safety.