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Local Firefighters Provide Tips On Preventing House Fires

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A fire caused approximately $15,000 in damages to a Pembroke Pines mobile home. (Source: Pembroke Pines Fire Dept./Thomas Gallagher)

A fire caused approximately $15,000 in damages to a Pembroke Pines mobile home. (Source: Pembroke Pines Fire Dept./Thomas Gallagher)

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HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Can you name three ways to prevent fires in your home? CBS4 had a “hot” time finding out from local fire departments Thursday morning.

October is National Fire Prevention Month across the country, so many local departments are taking extra initiative to show how fires can be prevented.

“Each family should put in time and effort into knowing how to deal with an emergency such as a house fire,” said Cesar Espinosa who is a caption with Hialeah Fire Department.  “You can replace everything else but our lives are irreplaceable.”

One event, held by the Fire Officers Association of Miami-Dade, focused on what firefighters say are the three key components to preventing fires in your home.

First, put fresh batteries twice a year in all smoke/CO detectors, to ensure that they will alert you during a fire.

“The precious two second alert from a smoke detector is what’s going to make a difference when your being alerted to a fire when you sleeping Espinosa.

Second, know how to use of a fire extinguisher. Consider keeping it near the kitchen: statistics reveal about 40 percent of house fires start there, where gas is often used to cook.

“It’s going to be like any other tool, if you don’t practice with it, your not going to efficient  when the time comes,” said Espinosa.

Third, create and practice exit drills in your home; firefighters advise you should know two ways out of your home in the event a fire. Those are usually a doorway and a window. Smoke tends to stay in the upper portions of a bedroom, so it’s important if a fire happens while you’re sleeping to roll out of bed and stay as close to the floor as possible.

It’s important to find the nearest point of exit from a room and get out as fast and safely as possible. During a fire, you might find yourself in a second floor bedroom, unable to exit through the doorway. Hardware stores sell escape ladders that, when installed, enable your window to be used as an escape route.

“If everyone knows which way they’re going to go out when the fire occurs, when the time hits, they’ll be able to perform,” said Espinosa.

Fire officials say a majority of families don’t have a plan in place. It’s no different than practicing a fire drill, much like in elementary school.

First, put fresh batteries twice a year in all smoke/CO detectors, to ensure that they will alert you during a fire.

Second, know how to use of a fire extinguisher. Consider keeping it near the kitchen: statistics reveal about 40 percent of house fires start there, where gas is often used to cook.

Third, create and practice exit drills in your home; firefighters advise you should know two ways out of your home in the event a fire. Those are usually a doorway and a window. Smoke tends to stay in the upper portions of a bedroom, so it’s important if a fire happens while you’re sleeping to roll out of bed and stay as close to the floor as possible.

It’s important to find the nearest point of exit from a room and get out as fast and safely as possible. During a fire, you might find yourself in a second floor bedroom, unable to exit through the doorway. Hardware stores sell escape ladders that, when installed, enable your window to be used as an escape route.

Fire officials say a majority of families don’t have a plan in place. It’s no different than practicing a fire drill, much like in elementary school.

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