#1 Thing You Can Do To Protect Yourself
Assure you have working smoke alarms.
People die in home fires. Many of these people die in homes that do not have working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms warn you and your family when there is a fire. Smoke is a deadly mix of particles and gas that is created when materials are on fire. Smoke alarms warn you there is a fire before you see, hear or smell it. Smoke alarms give you extra time to escape. Put working smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. For the best protection, have interconnected smoke alarms. If one alarm sounds, they all sound. Test your smoke alarms to make sure everyone in the home can hear them, even when they are asleep. Test each alarm every month using the test button. Dust or vacuum your smoke alarms each year when you change the battery.
Most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases, not from burns.
If You Are Trapped in a Burning Building:
- Smoke rises, so crawl low to the ground, where the air will be cleanest.
- Get out quickly if it is safe to leave. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth (moist if possible).
- Test doorknobs and spaces around doors with the back of your hand. If the door is warm, try another escape route. If it’s cool, open it slowly. Slam it shut if smoke pours through.
- Use the stairs, never use an elevator during a fire.
- Call the fire department (9-11) for assistance if you are trapped. If you cannot get to a phone, yell for help out the window. Wave or hang a sheet or other large object to attract attention.
- Close as many doors as possible between yourself and the fire. Seal your door with rags. Open windows slightly at the top and bottom, but close them if smoke comes in.
#2 Thing You Can Do To Protect Yourself
Get a "regulator" on your home's water heater. The "dial" on the unit DOES NOT accurately reflect the temperature of the water as delivered.
Tap and bath-water scald burns account for 7% to 17% of all childhood scald burns that require hospitalization. Often the burns are severe and disabling. Toddlers and preschool children are the most frequent victims. In 45% of the injuries, an unsupervised child or a peer turned on the water. In 80% of homes tested unsafe bathtub water temperatures of 130°F or greater were measured, exposing the occupants to the risk of full thickness scalds (3 rd or 4 th degree burns) within 15- 30 seconds of exposure to hot water. Journal of Injury Prevention Study
Temperature and Time to Severe Burns
Water temperature and time for a third degree burn to occur:
155°F 1 second
148°F 2 seconds
140°F 5 seconds
133°F 15 seconds
127°F 1 minute
124°F 3 minutes
120°F 5 minutes
100°F safe temperature for bathing
Source: American Burn Association