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Fire Safety

If you are in a building with smoke, get on your hands and knees and use the walls of the building to help you. Place one shoulder against the wall and crawl to the closest exit. When you come to a door, don't open it before checking for heat. Place the back of your hand against the door and if it is hot, DON'T OPEN IT! Turn around and seek another exit. If it is not hot, slowly open it and continue to crawl until you get outside. By doing this your chances of getting lost in the smoke will be reduced. The best plan is to have a pre-arranged meeting place outside the house where everyone should meet and be accounted for. After you are out – STAY OUT! Do not go back in for ANY reason. Call 9 – 1 – 1. Always give the dispatcher as much accurate information as you can.

Safety Tips
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Have an emergency escape plan. Plan two escapes from each bedroom in case of a fire. PRACTICE THE PLAN!
  • Make sure your address is visible from the street.
  • Don't park in front of fire hydrants and don't park in fire lanes.
  • Post the 9-1-1 number on the phone.
  • If you smoke, DO NOT smoke in bed.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Keep matches, lighters, candles, decorative lights and electrical decorations out of the reach of children.
  • Place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • Keep lights or candles away from anything that could easily catch fire.
  • Check for worn or frayed extension cords or other electrical cords.
  • Extension cords should not run under rugs and carpets or be looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray.
  • Lamp and light fixtures should be used with bulbs with wattage at or below maximum prescribed by the manufacturer.
  • Allow plenty of air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating.
  • Don't place or use any appliances near water.
  • Don't store things near the furnace or heater.
  • Check for overloaded outlets or extension cords.
  • Electrical sockets should be covered with a child-proof fitting.

If your clothes catch on fire - STOP, DROP, ROLL
  • Stop - Don't run
  • Drop to the ground
  • Cover your face with your hands to protect it from the flames.
  • Roll over and over to smother the fire. Don't stop until the flames have been extinguished.
  • After the fire is out, cool the burn with room temperature water.
  • Call 9 - 1 - 1

Car Fires
  • Stop & pull to the side of the road, so everyone can get out of the vehicle safely.
  • Turn off the ignition to shut off the electric current & the flow of the gasoline.
  • Put the car in park (set the emergency brake), so it does not move after you are out.
  • Keep the hood closed (more oxygen = bigger fire)
  • Get everyone out of the vehicle and stay together.
  • Make sure everyone stays at least 100 feet away.
  • Call 9-1-1
  • Never attempt to fight a vehicle fire yourself.

Kitchen Safety
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. It is also the leading cause of fire injuries. More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and more than 20,000 are injured. Eighty-two percent of all fire deaths occur in the home. Many of them might be alive today if they only had the information they needed to avoid such a disaster. Deaths due to fires caused by cooking are particularly preventable. Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove or have someone else watch what is cooking. A serious fire can start in just seconds. You should always clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup which can ignite. If afire breaks out while cooking, turn off the heat & cover the pan. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
  • Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
  • Keep your stove and oven clean, to prevent grease buildup which can ignite.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Keep the kitchen off limits to young children.
  • When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry.
  • Cook on the back burners when possible and turn pot handles in so they don't extend over the edge of the stove.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove or have someone else watch what is cooking.
  • Heat oil gradually to avoid burns from spattering grease. Use extra caution when preparing deep-fried foods.
  • Don't store things over the stove. People can get burned while reaching.
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
  • Check to see if curtains or towel racks are close to the stove.
  • Be sure microwave ovens have room to "breathe," all the vents are cleared of obstructions.

Gas & Charcoal Grills
  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Always keep propane gas containers upright.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
  • Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.
  • Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents, or campers, even if ventilation is provided.
  • Charcoal produces Carbon Monoxide fumes and should not be stored indoors with freshly used coals.

Deep Fryers
Deep Fryers can be dangerous and if you don't take precautions, you may end up with an injury or fire.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer. If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages. Fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping. Many units easily tip over, spilling the five gallons of hot oil within the cooking pot.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls and if you don't watch the fryer carefully, the unit has the potential to overheat the oil until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot, hours after use.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.

Holiday Safety
Christmas trees are a part of the traditional holiday celebration. If not handled properly, they can cause an extremely dangerous fire threat. A dried out tree can catch fire and burn a living room in just seconds. Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually. One in every 22 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death. These statistics include both real and artificial trees.
Click here to watch a video of a Christmas tree fire.

  • When buying a live tree, look for one that is not shedding needles. If branches snap when bent, the tree is already too dry.
  • Keep trees watered. A mixture of lemon-lime soda and water will keep a tree moist longer.
  • Keep trees away from all heat sources including fireplaces, and room heaters.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant."
  • Secure the tree in the stand to keep it from toppling.
  • When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
  • Never use candles on a Christmas tree.
  • Never leave holiday lights or candles unattended.
  • Keep lights or candles away from anything that could easily catch fire.
  • Place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • Never block exits with decorations
  • Extension cords should not run under rugs and carpets or be looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray.
  • Inspect all lights and cords before using them. Discard all lights with cracked or broken wiring.
  • Use only UL or FM approved lights and never overload circuits
  • Holly and mistletoe are poisonous. Keep them away from children.
  • Keep wrapping paper and ribbons away from heat sources. This includes candles, lights, stoves and heaters.
  • Wrapping paper and ribbon should be thrown away in trash containers, not fireplaces. Burning paper and ribbon could cause a chimney fire.
  • Put decorations high enough on the tree so your child or pet can't reach them. Children can choke or cut themselves on ornaments, ornament hangers or tinsel and can be poisoned by older painted ornaments that contain lead.
  • Adult partygoers should establish a designated driver.

Winter Safety
  • When purchasing equipment, select ones that have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Follow manufacturer's recommendations for the proper size heater and for its installation, maintenance and use. Have it professionally installed, if possible.
  • If the pilot light of your heater should go out, allow five minutes or more for the gas to go away before trying again.
  • Do not allow gas to accumulate. Light the match before you turn on the gas to the pilot. This avoids the risk of a flashback, which could occur if you allow gas to accumulate before you are ready to light the pilot.
  • IF YOU SMELL GAS, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LIGHT THE APPLIANCE. Turn off all controls and open a window or door. Leave the area, and then call a gas service person. DO NOT touch any electrical surfaces.
  • Turn off the heater, ventilate the room and get into the fresh air if you feel other than normal, (headache, nausea, fuzzy vision) remember Carbon Monoxide does not have a odor and you may become unconscious before you realize there is a problem.
  • Turn off the heater if the burner flame looks strange, (yellow flames, unsteady flames, or smoky flames)
  • Never use a vented-type heater without proper venting and flue (chimney).
  • Never sleep in a room where a gas heater is burning.
  • Do not put drying clothing or combustibles over heaters.
  • Don't store things near the furnace or heater.
  • Do not operate a gas heater in a completely 'tight' room. The heater needs a source of fresh air to operate safely and efficiently. 'Crack' a window, if needed.

Space Heaters
  • All types must be kept at least 36 inches from anything that can burn, including furniture, bedding, clothing, pets and people.
  • Space heaters must not be left operating when you are not in the room, or when you go to sleep.
  • Children should be supervised at all times when space heaters are in use.
  • Never use a heater that is in disrepair. Always keep your heater in proper operating condition.
  • Check for fraying or splitting wires, or overheating. Have problems repaired by a professional before operating the space heater.
  • Make sure the venting system is open--a blocked vent can cause your space heater to exhaust Carbon Monoxide into your living space.

Fireplace Safety
  • Check and clean the fireplace and chimney every year. Creosote, a chemical substance that forms when wood burns, builds up in chimneys and can cause a chimney fire if not removed through cleaning.
  • Make sure the fire you build "fits" your fireplace. Do not overload it with too many logs.
  • Make sure the flu is open while in use.
  • Always use a fireplace screen.
  • NEVER use gasoline, lighter fluid or kerosene to start a fire.
  • NEVER leave a fire unattended. Make sure it is out before you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Burn only wood. Never burn paper or pine boughs which can float out the chimney and ignite your roof or a neighboring home. Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • If decorating fireplace with Christmas stockings or other season decorations, DON'T BURN FIRES IN IT!

Fireworks Safety
Fireworks are illegal in Houma and Terrebonne Parish but if you are travelling to an area where fireworks are legal, here are some things to remember.
  • Know the difference between a legal consumer firework and a dangerous explosive device.
  • Stay away from illegal explosives.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Use outdoors only.
  • Always wear eye protection and never leave any part of your body over the firework.
  • Have an adult present for all fireworks activities.
  • NEVER give fireworks to small children. Fireworks are not toys.
  • Sparklers can be unsafe if used improperly.
  • Always have water handy. Use both a garden hose and a bucket.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework. Wait about 20 minutes and then put it in a bucket of water.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks. Homemade fireworks are deadly. Leave the making of fireworks to the experts.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water before disposing of them in your trashcan.
  • Stay away from anything that isn't clearly labeled with the name of the item, the manufacturer's name and instructions for proper use.
  • M-80s are not fireworks, they are federally banned explosives. If you know anyone selling such devices, contact the police department.