Photo Courtesy of Kadoka Volunteer Fire Department

Hot Summer calls for Fire Safety measures in the Community

In just two minutes a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes a residence can be engulfed in flames.
Learn About Fires
Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a 3-to-1 ratio.
During a Fire
Crawl low under any smoke to your exit. Heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.
Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People with Access or Functional Needs
Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor and near an exit.
If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
Make any necessary accommodations – such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways – to facilitate an emergency escape.
Speak to your family members, building manager or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.
After a Fire
The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.
Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting your property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for help.
Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Watch out for any structural damage caused by the fire.
The fire department should make sure that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on your income tax.
Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
Prevent Home Fires
Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.
Smoke outside and completely stub-out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
Be alert – don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.
Some common fire hazards are: Kitchen fires from unattended cooking, grease fires/chip pan fires; Electrical systems that are overloaded, poorly maintained or defective; Combustible storage areas with insufficient protection; Combustibles near equipment that generates heat, flame, or sparks; Candles and other open flames; Smoking (Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, lighters, etc.); Equipment that generates heat and utilizes combustible materials; Flammable liquids and aerosols; Flammable solvents (and rags soaked with solvent) placed in enclosed trash cans; Fireplace chimneys not properly or regularly cleaned; Cooking appliances - stoves, ovens; Heating appliances - fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, furnaces, boilers, portable heaters, solid fuels; Household appliances - clothes dryers, curling irons, hair dryers, refrigerators, freezers, boilers; Chimneys that concentrate creosote; Electrical wiring in poor condition; Leaking/ defective batteries; Personal ignition sources - matches, lighters; Electronic and electrical equipment; Exterior cooking equipment - barbecue

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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