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9 Fire-Safety Tips

Think you're ready? Take every precaution by consulting our checklist.

This art deco fire alarm makes safety stylish.

Be prepared with these tips for preventing and controlling fires in the home.

1. Before buying a fire extinguisher, check its intended purpose. Some extinguishers effectively treat a few or all of the following varieties of fires: trash, wood, paper, liquids, grease and electrical.

2. Position the fire extinguishers throughout your house and on all levels, including along the hallways outside bedrooms and bathrooms. Install the kitchen fire extinguisher near the stove but not directly under it. You don't want to be stumbling around beneath the flames in the event of a stovetop fire. Mount it off center along the interior of a cabinet door to take up as little space as possible.

3. Be sure extinguishers are full and ready for use. If they're battery-powered, remember to check the regularly. It's a good idea to change the batteries twice a year, perhaps at the same times as you change your clocks in the fall and spring.

4. Don't fight a grease fire with water. When cooking, keep a box of baking soda readily available to put out any grease fires, or extinguish the flames with a lid.

5. When fighting a fire with an extinguisher, stand six feet away and sweep the nozzle back and forth.

6. Install smoke and heat detectors to notify your family and allow plenty of time to escape during a house fire.

7. Develop a family escape plan, with evacuation routes from each room.

8. Place stickers or decals on children's windows to assist firefighters in identifying those rooms.

9. Make sure your whole family knows how to set off any home panic buttons to notify authorities and other family members of a house fire.

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