Every year, thousands of

Americans, many of them

children, die or are disfigured for

Your home is your castle. And,

preparing today could help keep

your dreams from going up in


life from fires in their own homes.

By taking precautions, you can

help prevent this tragedy from happening

to you and those you love.

Smoke Detectors

� Install smoke detectors in all

bedrooms and hallways of

your home. Be sure all levels

of your home are covered.

� In places where smoke detectors

are not practical (i.e.,


can be used. These detect

rapid changes in room

temperature, rather than the

presence of smoke particles

or gas.

� Keep your smoke detectors

maintained, cleaning them

periodically. Remember to

change the batteries when

they are low (at least once a


� MONITORED smoke detectors

are the best, since they

can send a fire signal to a

central monitoring station and

alert the authorities immediately.

� TEST your smoke detectors at

least once a month. Repair

them or replace them immediately

if they are not working.

Fire Extinguishers

Locate fire extinguishers

throughout your home, so that

they are readily available. It's an

especially good idea to have one

in the kitchen, garage and

anywhere else a fire is most likely

to start (i.e., smoker's bedroom).

There are FOUR TYPES of fire extinguishers:

� TYPE A -- for wood, paper

and fabric fires.

� TYPE B -- to extinguish

grease, oil, gasoline,

petroleum and other flammable

liquid fires.

� TYPE C -- for extinguishing

electrical fires.

� TYPE ABC -- for all three

types of fires. This type is a little

more expensive, but worth


Since fire extinguishers are

designed to help prevent small

fires from becoming big ones,


to extinguish a large fire on your

own. If you are ever faced with

the choice of putting out a fire or

escaping, opt for safety.

General Safety Tips

� Make sure fireplaces are completely

screened. Keep the

chimney cleaned to prevent

smoking and ash build-up.

� Don't go to bed expecting a

fire in the fireplace to "burn


� Don't leave candles burning


� Don't smoke in bed. Cigarettes

cause close to one-third

of all multiple-death home fires.

� Be sure all electrical appliances

are UL-listed.

� Never enter an area with a

lighted match or cigarette if

you smell gas from a pipe,

heater or stove. The smallest

spark or flame could ignite

gas in the air and cause an explosion.

� Keep electric blankets unplugged

and stored flat when

not in use.

Make sure fireplaces are completely

screened. Keep the chimney

cleaned to prevent smoking and

ash build-up.

� Don't leave a heating pad on

for more than 30 minutes.

Never fall asleep with it on.

Set an alarm clock to awaken

you in 30 minutes if necessary.

� Keep down the number of

plugs in one outlet. Have

broken plugs or cords professionally

repaired or replaced.

Don't try to mask problems

with electrical tape.

Never leave a barbeque left unattended.

Dispose of the cool ashes

in a lidded metal container.

� Keep personal grooming appliances

(i.e., hair dryers, curling

irons, electric razors)

away from combustibles while

in use. Disconnect after use.

Never fold/crimp cords or insulation

may be ruined, exposing

wires which can short out

and spark.

� For fireplaces and wood

stoves, use only dried woods

(less smoke, dirt). Never use

flammable liquids. Dispose of

cool ashes in lidded metal

containers. Never leave a fire

unattended. When burning,

keep damper open, flammable

materials away and

glass door/screen closed.

� Avoid letting grease build up

in any part of the oven. A

greasy broiler can catch fire

even during preheating. Too

much fat on a piece of meat

can also cause the grease to

flare up and start a fire.

� Never heat cooking oil and

leave the room. A flame can

ignite spontaneously. Keep

combustibles away from the

stove, especially loose sleeves

or scarves. Hot grease can

spatter and ignite paper, cloth

or wood materials nearby.

� Do not hang dish towels or

pot holders on the wall above

the stove. They can fall off

and catch fire.

� Never leave synthetic fabrics,

plastics, rubber or foam in the

dryer for longer than the

manufacturer's recommended

time. Clean lint screen before

and after use. Keep area free

of combustibles. Dryer must

be vented to outside and

plugged into its own outlet.

� If you must store newspapers,

don't keep them in a damp,

warm place. Newspapers

generate heat and can ignite

themselves. Store them in a

cool, dry place at least 3 feet

from any heat-generating

source, such as a pilot light.

� Store flammable liquids in a

Don't go to bed expecting a

campfire to burn out. Keep flammable

materials and people at a

safe distance at all times.

cool, dry room in labeled,

metal containers with tight

lids. Never store them in a

room with a pilot light or too

close to hot light bulbs.

Vapors in the air can easily ignite.

� Store unused barbeque charcoal

in a cool, dry place, because

damp coal can ignite itself.

Use a metal pail/garbage

can with a tight lid and place it

in an open space where heat

can escape if self-ignition

should occur.

Turn off Christmas tree lights before

going to bed and when you leave

the house. Keep the tree well

watered and at least 3 feet from the


� Dry out oil-soaked rags by

spreading them out in a wellventilated

room so heat can

escape, then wash. Never put

oily rags in a pile, because

they can ignite themselves.

Store in labeled, metal containers,

sealed with a tight lid.

During the Holidays

� Turn off Christmas tree lights

when you go to bed and when

you leave the house.

� Keep the tree well watered,

and locate at least 3 feet from

the fireplace.

Fighting Small Fires

� COOKING FIRES -- Shut off

stove or oven, smother pan

with lid, Type B extinguisher

Keep combustibles away from the

stove when cooking. Don't hang

pot holders or dish towels nearby.

or baking soda. Smother fire

in oven by keeping door

closed and/or throwing

baking soda on food. Never

move pan -- it will fan the fire

or spatter grease. Never turn

on the exhaust fan or use

water. Fans draw the flames

up. Let fat cool in oven; contact

with air may make fire

flare up again.


FIRES -- Switch off appliance,

pull out plug. Smother fire

with a blanket or Type C extinguisher.

Never try to cool

with water, because water

conducts electricity and can

give you an electric shock.

� GAS FIRES -- Shut off gas

supply. Smother with a rug,

blanket or Type B extinguisher

or cool with water.

Ventilate the area to let gases

out. Call the fire department

to check that gas pipes, etc.

no longer pose an immediate

danger. Then call the gas


� HEATING FIRES -- Call the

fire department if the stove

pipe is red or if the fire is in

the chimney. For furnaces,

radiators and water heaters,

immediately shut off.

Smother if electrical, use

water or Type A extinguisher if

gas fired. Drown fire in

fireplace with baking soda,

water or Type A extinguisher

up the chimney.

� STORAGE FIRES -- Smother

with blanket or rug to cut off

air supply. Use type B extinguisher

for rags, charcoal, liquids

or solvents, hairspray or

glue and Type A extinguisher

for newspapers.

Surviving a Fire

� Agree on a way everyone can

COMMUNICATE during a fire.

Use a whistle, knock on walls

or just yell.

� Establish an ESCAPE PLAN.

Have frequent family meetings

to discuss escape routes from

your house. Every room

should have 2 means of escape

-- rope ladders for upper

floor windows. Have practice

drills every 3 months.

� STAY CALM so you can think

clearly. Remember your escape

plans as rehearsed, but

be ready to try a different escape

route if necessary.

� CHECK DOORS -- from top to

bottom, including the knob --

for intense heat or invading

smoke before opening.

� If smoke is coming in around

the edge of the door, or if the

door is hot, don't open it. Instead,

stuff clothing or wet

towels in the cracks. Try

another escape route or wait

for help to arrive.

� When you're sure it's safe,

open the door slightly, but be

ready to close it quickly if heat

and smoke rush in.

� CRAWLING along the floor will

help you to breathe easier.

Cover your nose and mouth

with a damp cloth to minimize

smoke inhalation.

Everyone needs to take fire prevention

seriously. National Fire Prevention

Week is Oct. 8-14. But don't

wait. Be aware and be prepared.

� Close all doors behind you.

� Decide on a meeting place

outside. DO NOT RE-ENTER.

For More Information

If you would like more information

on fire safety and prevention, contact

your local fire department.

ARMGUARD Los Angeles Security sells, installs and

monitors security and fire systems.

Call ARMGUARD Los Angeles offices at 1-800-654-

7797 for information on a

security/fire system for your home

or office.