It is very important to us that you have a safe home environment — after all, that is where you spend a great deal of time! At Arvada Fire, we are here to help you keep yourself, your family, and your community safe. If you need more information on maintaining a fire-free home, please call 303-424-3012 or schedule a home safety visit with us today.
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? That's why it is vital to ensure that you are doing all you can to protect your home and those who live there. To start, early warning from a working smoke alarm and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives!
In the same way that firefighters make pre-plans and practice to hone their skills, you should prepare and practice different exercises to stay safe! Fire is everyone's fight and the first step to safety begins with preparation and minimizing risks in our homes.
- Install and Test Smoke Alarms
Smoke spreads quickly when there is a fire, but having working smoke alarms provides an early warning and an opportunity to escape safely. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers. Check the manufacturer's date on the back of the alarm and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Create and Practice Your Home Escape Plan
Your ability to quickly and safely get out of your home during a fire depends on planning! Pull together everyone in your household and make an escape plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of their home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Practice your plan during the day and at night at least twice per year!
- Download a Home Fire Safety Checklist
Download a home fire safety checklist (PDF) to double-check that your home has working equipment, safety plans, and other fire-safe practices. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to prevent fire and what to do in the event of a fire.
- Establish a Family Communications Plan
Creating a family emergency communications plan starts with one question — what if? What if there is a fire? What if there is a natural disaster? These plans ensure that if 'what if' happens, you and your family will know how to reach each other and where to meet.
- Register for Emergency Notifications
LookoutAlert is the official emergency notification system of Jefferson County and all cities within it, such as the Cities of Arvada and Wheat Ridge. Through LookoutAlert, emergency responders are able to provide emergency and public safety messages to residents. You can receive free emergency alerts via text message, email, and/or voice message after creating a profile and selecting your preference. When every minute matters during an emergency, make sure you are receiving alerts by signing up at lookoutalert.co.
The most common causes of home fires are cooking, heating, electrical, smoking, and candles. Fortunately, we can reduce the risks associated with these activities or items with a few safety tips. Remember, fire safety starts with having working smoke alarms and a practiced escape plan. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries, and the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains — away from your stovetop. Don't use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol. If you have a grease fire, keep a lid nearby and smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If you have any doubts about fighting a small fire, just get out, close the door behind you to contain the fire, and call 911.
Heating is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Flipping on a light switch and using electricity can be second nature to us, but we need to remember to keep safety in mind! For starters, you should have all-electric work done by a qualified electrician. Major appliances such as refrigerators or washers should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Also, extension cords are intended for temporary use. If you have frequent problems with blowing fuses or notice discolored or warm wall outlets, call a qualified electrician.
Fires started by smoking materials have been the leading cause or one of the leading causes of home fire fatalities for decades. If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms, and dens or bedrooms. Keep cigarettes, lighters, and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children. Use a deep, sturdy ashtray and place it away from anything that can burn. Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation or other things that could ignite easily. Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Never leave charging e-cigarettes unattended.
In recent years, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 7,610 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep. Keep candles at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn. Use candle holders that or sturdy. Consider using flameless candles that look and smell like the real thing!
- Smoke Alarms
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms at least once per month. If you need help changing the batteries in your alarms, if you need smoke alarms and can't afford to buy them, or if you need help installing the new alarms that you purchased, please schedule a home safety visit so we can help you!
- CO Detector
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels burn incompletely. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declares that it is safe to re-enter the home.
- Fire Extinguishers
Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke. To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Home fire sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to fire, saving lives and property. If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. In the event of a fire, only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, while false activations are exceedingly rare. Only a high temperature (not smoke) will activate sprinklers. Not only can they save your life, but home fire sprinklers can also reduce your insurance premium.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure. You can purchase a radon testing kit. If needed, follow guidelines for reducing radon in your home, like installing a radon-reduction system.