If a fire breaks out, call 911 before you do anything else. This will ensure that the fire department is on its way.
Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is a safe escape. Know when to go! Everyone should have a fire escape plan, working smoke alarms and workable fire extinguishers.
If you do call and if you are not there to greet the fire department, they will assume that you are still in the building and may be unconscious.
Portable fire extinguishers
Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation.
Make sure they are visible and readily accessible. They should not be mounted higher than three feet and make sure they are not blocked in any way.
Make it clear where the extinguishers are located. 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.
Fire extinguishers require annual re-certification and tagging by a fire extinguisher company that provides the service.
Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with
smoke, leave immediately.
Use a power strip with a circuit breaker for multi-plug needs. Make sure all electrical cords are in good condition, without any cuts, nicks, splices, or loose connections.
Verify that all of the circuit breakers in your electrical panel are labeled and that there are no missing breakers or openings in the panel front.
If space heaters are used, ensure they are a safe distance away from combustible materials, such as cardboard boxes, wastebaskets, etc. Turn off the space heaters when they are not needed or when occupants leave the room and unplug the unit to ensure that it’s off.
Fire Safety Checklist
- Can all fire escape doors be opened immediately and easily?
- Are exit doors clearly marked, illuminated and free from obstruction?
- Has the portable firefighting equipment and sprinklers been tested and up to date?
- Are your tenants trained in the use of fire extinguisher equipment?
- Is there a prepared emergency evacuation plan?
- Do you have an adequate number of fire extinguishers? (They should be placed so travel distance does not exceed 75 feet of where there is significant hazardous area to protect such as kitchens).
- Is your address properly posted for emergency vehicles?
- Are flammable liquids properly used and stored?
- Are tenants aware of the location of fire extinguishers and exit doors?
- Keep things that burn, like cloth and clothing, off lamps.
- Keep curtains away from light bulbs. Bulbs can get hot and start a fire.