It's in the news somewhere in our state every week it seems. Another fire. The loss of life, injuries and property damage which result from these fires is saddening. Sadder yet is the fact that most of these losses could have been prevented if those involved had only known what to do. The Tomahawk Fire Department is dedicated to providing this information and we focus on three key elements of public fire safety:

  • Prevention
  • Safety
  • Survival
Fire Prevention Basics

There are many aspects to making your home a fire safe environment. Of course, you can never completely fireproof a home, but you can greatly reduce the risk of a fire. Please make your best effort to implement these simple fire safety rules in your home. Preventing fires is easier if you understand the fire triangle. In order for fire to occur you need to combine three things - a source of heat, a burnable material and air. Remove any one of these sides from the triangle and the fire either goes out or cannot occur. 

For example, pouring water on a fire removes the heat or reduces it to below the ignition point and the fire goes out. Putting a tight-fitting lid over a flaming pan of grease will shut off the air and put the fire out (be sure to let the pan cool to below the ignition point before lifting the lid or or the fire may reoccur).

Inspect your home with the fire triangle in mind and note where fuel and heat might come together with the air that is all around us. A few examples might be flammable liquids used or stored indoors (vapors may travel unseen to a source of heat such as a pilot light and explode), curtains or furniture too near a space heater, or perhaps poorly insulated electrical wiring in contact with wood.

10 Tips For Fire Safety     
From the NFPA and the Tomahawk Fire Department

1. Install Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors can alert you to a fire in your home in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. Install detectors on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area. If you sleep with the door closed, install one inside your bedroom as well.

2. Plan Your Escape From Fire

If a fire breaks out in your home, you have to get out fast. To prepare, sit down with your family and agree on an escape plan. Be sure that everyone knows at least two unobstructed exits - doors and windows - from every room. Decide on a meeting place outside where everyone will meet after they are out. Have your entire household practice your plan at least twice a year.

3. Keep An Eye On Smokers

Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in North America. Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy. Provide smokers with large, deep, non-tip ashtrays and soak butts with water before disposing of them. Before going to bed or leaving home after someone has been smoking, check under and around cushions and upholstered furniture for smoldering cigarettes.

4. Cook Carefully

Never leave cooking unattended. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear clothes with short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Turn pot handles inward where you canít bump them and children canít grab them. If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the burner. Keep the lid on until the pan is completely cooled.

5. Give Space Heaters Space

Keep all heating devices at least three feet away from anything that can burn and never leave portable heaters on when you leave home or go to bed.

6. Matches & Lighters=Tools, Not Toys

Teach your children that matches and lighters are to be used only by grown-ups. Store them out of sight and out of reach of kids.

7. Cool A Burn

Run cool water over a burn for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burned skin is blistered or charred, see a doctor immediately.

8. Use Electricity Safely

If an electrical appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and do not use it again until you have it checked and serviced. Replace cracked or frayed cords and be careful not to overload your circuits.

9. Crawl Low Under Smoke

If you must escape through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees to the nearest exit. Keep your head low. The air nearest the floor will be the cleanest and coolest. During a fire smoke and poisonous gases rise with the heat.

10. Stop, Drop & Roll

If your clothes catch on fire, donít run. Stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over to smother the flames.