Prevention in the Home
By Nikki Willhite
We all think it will never happen to us. It is always someone
elseís tragedy portrayed on the evening news. Wrong! It can happen. There is a
risk. We MUST take the necessary precautions.
I almost died. When I was 16, my parents had a party. Someone
dropped a cigarette into the cushions of our sofa. I woke up in the middle of
the night with the smoke in the house so thick, you couldnít see anything. My
parents would never have woken up. They had been drinking, and I barely was able
to shake them awake.
While my own family does not smoke, which decreases the risk of
a fire, there are other things that cause fires. Sometimes it is from faulty
electrical wiring. It could also be from hazardous chemicals placed to close to
heating elements. These are not unusual things. Latex paint is highly flammable.
Most of our garages are filled with hazardous materials. They should be stored
in a shed away from the house.
Nothing flammable should be placed within 3 feet of our furnaces
or water heaters. Junk should not be piled up in our basements, where if it
caught on fire, it would quickly create toxic smoke that could rise and kill us
while we are sleeping.
Buy some fire alarms. Put them in each bedroom, the hallway to
the bedrooms, in the kitchen, and on each floor of your home. Make this a
priority in your budget. It just isnít worth the risk not to have them.
If you have bedrooms on the 2nd story of your home, be sure and
get some chain ladders, and have your family practice escaping from your home.
Have a designated place outside where everyone can meet, and heads can be
counted. Make sure none of your windows are painted shut and canít be opened.
All- Get OUT of the house, and take your family with you!
- If there is a
lot of smoke, your children could die from the smoke while you are calling
the fire department.