Hillndale Volunteer Fire Department
and Cross Creek Townships since 1948
The best fire protection is prevention.
Fire Safety Page
This information is provided as a general reference.
Unfortunately, no set of actions can eliminate the chance of fire,
injury, or death.
Hillndale VFD is not responsible for any misinterpretation or misuse
of this information.
Facts about fire:
What you can do around your home to help prevent a fire:
An unchecked fire doubles in size every 30 seconds.
Over 2 million fires are reported annually in the US.
Fires are responsible for over $10 billion in property damage each year.
North America has the worst fire death rate in the industrialized world.
In a study of house fires that resulted in at least one fatality, only
14% had working smoke detectors.
Smoke detectors fail to operate in over 40% of reported fires.
You cannot rely on the smell of smoke to awaken you in the event of a fire,
we lose our sense of smell when sleeping.
Nearly 40% of fire victims die while sleeping.
Fires kill more people than floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes
Never smoke in bed or when sleepy. Make sure butts are completely
out before throwing them in the trash. Douse ashtrays with water
If an appliance smokes, has an odor, or is hot to the touch, have it repaired
or replace before using it again. Replace broken, frayed, or burnt
Never leave cooking unattended and have the right size lid ready in case
of a fire.
Keep the area around the stove clear of combustibles such as curtains,
towels, pot holders, bags, and paper. Keep the stove top clean to avoid
Never use a barbecue grill indoors or under a combustible roof. Remember,
Keep portable and space heaters at least three feet from anything that
Keep matches and lighters away from children. Store them in a locked
cabinet or drawer, just storing them in a high place will not keep children
from getting them. Teach your kids about the dangers of fire.
Many homes are lost each year from curious kids experimenting with flames.
Clean lint from dryer screen before each use.
Store gasoline properly, in an approved container with the lid on
tight. Also don't use gasoline as a solvent.
Allow oily rags to air out before putting them in a pile or trash can.
Decomposing petroleum products produce great amounts of heat when starved
Avoid running electrical cords under rugs where they can overheat or across
doorways where they will wear out. Also avoid crushing the wire by
not shutting doors or windows on the cords.
Don't use an electric blanket for more than 30 minutes at a time or leave
on all night (set your alarm clock if necessary). Also never fold
or roll the blanket.
Don't overload electrical outlets by plugging more than two appliances
into one plug. Also, replace fuses with the proper size fuse only.
Overloaded wiring can quickly heat up.
What you can do to survive a fire:
Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home. Also install Carbon
Monoxide (CO) detectors in attached garages or near fireplaces and fuel
burning furnaces. Test these monthly and replace batteries whenever
the clocks are changed for daylight savings time or semiannually.
If a smoke detector activates and smoke is visible, exit the building immediately
shutting doors behind you. DO NOT use elevators in multi-story buildings.
If impossible to avoid paths with dense smoke, crawl low. The best
air is within 2 feet of the floor.
If your clothes catch fire, STOP where you are, DROP to the ground, and
ROLL back and forth until the flames are extinguished. Then get treated
for burns. Click for the first aid
treatment for burns.
Practice fire drills and designate a meeting place outside, such as the
mailbox. This way everyone can be accounted for. Don't underestimate
the value of a meeting place, many firefighters have lost their lives searching
for victims that have already escaped.
If a fire occurs while cooking, place the lid on a pan or keep the microwave
or oven door closed and turn off the device. If the fire doesn't
self extinguish, use an ABC or BC fire extinguisher. Click
for more info on fire extinguishers.
If you use a fire extinguisher, make sure that your escape route is not
being cut off by fire or smoke. Give yourself 30 seconds to try to put
the fire out. If it continues to burn after this time, exit the building
immediately and call the fire department from outside.
Even if you successfully extinguish a fire in your home, call the fire
department to inspect the area and verify that the fire has not spread
to other nearby areas such as a wall or ceiling. Rekindles are not
uncommon if fire extension is not thoroughly searched for.
If trapped during a fire, close as many doors as possible between you and
the fire. Stuff cotton sheets or towels around the doors to keep
out the smoke. If there's a phone in the room call the fire department
and calmly tell them your exact location.
In a fire situation, test doorknobs for heat before opening. Opening
a door that is hot to the touch could cause a backdraft explosion.
Never enter or re-enter a burning building for any reason, the smoke and
flame WILL overpower you and make you another victim. Call for trained
firefighters with the proper protective equipment to search for victims
and extinguish the fire.
If a fire occurs while sleeping roll, do not jump, out of bed. The
temperature one foot above you could be several hundred degrees.
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Fact: An unchecked fire will
double its size every 30 seconds.