With changes in the weather, we all resort to different methods to warm ourselves, our loved-ones and our homes. Your Los Angeles Fire Department asks you to please exercise extreme caution and a little common sense when doing so.
As we promote the annual "Change Your Clock Change Your Batteries" Campaign, it also offers a great opportunity to remind you all, of the inherent dangers associated with fire that may result from improperly functioning alarms in your homes.
As an example of such dangers, please view the following video that illustrates how the changes in materials being used by the furniture industry have considerably decreased the amount of time individuals and families have to exit their homes during a fire. It also emphasizes the extreme importance of having a working smoke alarm.
So we remind you: when you change your clock, you should change your smoke alarm batteries as well as the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, which are now required by law.
On another note of preparedness, the LAFD strongly encourages everyone to develop and practice a home safety plan. Following, are some helpful Fire Safety Tips to aid in your efforts:
Fire Safety Tips:
In the event of a fire, remember time is the biggest enemy and every second counts! Escape first, then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room. Practice feeling your way out with your eyes closed. Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason; it may cost you your life.
Talking about fire prevention and survival with your family, and practicing your home escape plan is something that may not be able to wait for tomorrow.
- Install smoke alarms in every room of a property. Consider networked smoke alarms that are linked together so that when one alarm sounds, all of the alarms sound. This immediate response can provide early warning no matter where the fire starts, giving more time to escape.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on every floor and near sleeping areas. As of July 1, 2011, the State of California requires Carbon Monoxide detectors in most single family homes - and soon in every residence.
- DO NOT use grills, hibachis or portable gas camp stoves indoors, as a means to warm your homes. All are sources of poisonous carbon monoxide gases.
- Use extreme caution when using portable generators, another source of carbon monoxide.
- Test smoke alarms and CO detectors monthly and replace batteries as needed.
- Never disable alarms by removing the batteries or by covering them.
- Know two ways out of every building--your residence hall, apartment, nightclub, restaurant or movie theater. A fire escape ladder can provide an alternate exit from second- or third-floor rooms.
- Properly dispose of smoking materials in ashtrays. After parties, check chair and couch cushions for smoldering cigarettes.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it BEFORE a fire breaks out.
- Use approved extension cords and electrical appliances properly. Don't overload electrical outlets.
- Never leave candles unattended and keep them away from flammable items. Be sure to extinguish candles before going to bed.
Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department