City of Willcox ALERT system


Is your home fire safe?

Make home fire safety a priority by performing a fire safety inspection.

Check for fire hazards in your home and correct any problems:


* Keep matches stored out of reach of children.
* Do not overload outlets or extension cords.
* Keep curtains and towel racks away from the stove.
* Ensure all flammable liquids or aerosols are stored away from heat sources.
* Discard worn or frayed appliance or extension cords.

Living Room, Family Room, Den, Bedrooms

* Keep matches stored out of reach of children.
* Use large ashtrays.
* Empty ashtrays frequently.
* Keep fireplaces screened and cleaned regularly.
* Replace worn or frayed extension cords or other electrical cords.
* Do not allow extension cords to run under rugs or carpets or loop over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray.
* Keep heating equipment three feet away from curtains, furniture, and papers.

Basement, Garage, Storage Areas

* Do not store newspapers or other rubbish near the furnace, water heater, or other heat source.
* Any oily, greasy rags should be stored in a labeled and sealed non-glass container.
* Do not store gasoline in the house or basement.
* Do not store flammable liquids near workbenches or pilot lights, or in anything other than labeled, sealed metal containers
* Do not overload outlets or extension cords.

Develop a safety-conscious attitude in the home:

* Never use gasoline to start a fire in the grill or add lighter fluid to an already started fire.
* Never play with matches or lighters.
* Wear close-fitting sleeves while cooking. Never leaving cooking unattended.
* Never smoke in bed, in a chair or on the sofa when tired, drinking, or taking medication.
* Never smoke while using a cleaning fluid, paint thinner or other flammable liquid.
* Never spray aerosols while smoking or near a space heater, range or other ignition source.
* Never lean against a range for warmth or stand too close to a heater or fireplace.
* Never reach over a range or climb onto a range to get something stored above it.

Keep appropriate safety devices in the home:

* Develop a fire escape plan with two ways out from each room and a meeting place outdoors.
* Install smoke detectors on all levels and outside sleeping areas and test them monthly.
* Install an ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen and/or workshop.

Make fire safety a family affair, and teach children fire safety at an early age:

The United States Fire Administration has an excellent fire safety resource site for kids, check it out here. Fire is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the home. By being prepared to handle this emergency, you can help your family safely exit your home in the event of a fire. Fire safety and survival begins with everyone in your household being prepared. The following guidelines will help you in developing a home fire escape plan:

* Have smoke detectors on every level of your home. Make sure a smoke detector is inside or near every bedroom.

* Test each smoke detector once a month. Push the test button until you hear a loud noise. Replace the batteries every six months.

* Make a fire escape plan for your family. Sketch out a floor plan of your home, including all rooms, windows, interior and exterior doors, stairways, fire escapes and smoke detectors. Make sure that every family member is familiar with the layout.

Create and print your fire escape plan (PDF)

* Make sure windows and doors open easily. Make sure stairways and doorways are never blocked. Look for things that could slow down your escape. Move or fix them.

* If you have security bars on doors and windows, make sure they’re equipped with a “quick-release” latch. This makes it easy to get outside in an emergency. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use the latch.

* Try to find two ways out of every room – the door and possibly the window. You might need an escape ladder to get out of upstairs bedroom windows. If so, it should be part of your fire drill, deployed safely from a ground-floor window for practice.

* Children and older people will need help escaping a fire. Plan for this. Know who needs help and pick someone to help them. If anyone in the household has a hearing impairment, you may purchase special smoke detectors that use strobes and/or vibrations to signal a fire.

* Have a safe place to meet in front of your home. Use a portable phone or a neighbor’s phone to call 911. Once you get out, stay out. Do not go back inside for any reason.

* Practice makes perfect. Every second counts during a real fire. Hold family fire drills frequently and at various times of day Poisons

Recognize Potential Poisons in Your Home

Many items in the home can be toxic to children if ingested. This includes medications, cleaning products and house plants.

The number one cause of childhood death from toxic ingestion is the ingestion of vitamin pills with iron. A child can die after swallowing as few as five of these pills.

Do You Know These Poisons?

Some dangerous medications are:

* Diet pills containing stimulants
* Decongestants
* Other medications, like those that treat depression or high blood pressure

Some dangerous household products are:

* Art supplies
* Dishwasher detergent, bleach, and ammonia
* Gasoline, kerosene, paint thinners, antifreeze, and windshield washing fluid
* Beer, wine and liquor other products with alcohol, like mouthwash, aftershave and colognes house plants

Poison Proof Your Home

To protect your child:

* Close containers right after you use them.
* Make sure child-resistant caps are on right.
* Keep vitamins, medications, cleaners, and other dangerous products in the containers they came in. Don't store these products in cups, soft-drink bottles, or milk cartons. Children may think they are OK to eat or drink.
* Keep these containers where children can't reach or even see them.
* Buy art supplies labeled as safe (nontoxic) for children.

Learn the Symptoms of Poisoning

If you see an open or spilled bottle of pills or other dangerous product, your child may be poisoned.

An important sign of poisoning is when children who were well develop unusual symptoms:

* They're sleepy even though it's not nap time.
* They can't follow you with their eyes.
* Their eyes go around in circles.
* They have burns or stains around the mouth.
* Their breath smells strange.

What Should You Do If You Suspect Poisoning?

If you think your child has swallowed, breathed in, or touched poison, call 911 and the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away. If you can, tell poison control:

* The name of the poison
* The way the poison was taken-swallowed, breathed in, or splashed on the skin or in the eyes
* If your child has vomited
* Your child's age, height and weight
* Any health problems your child may have Fire Extinguishers
There are essentially four different types of fire extinguishers, each of which extinguishes a specific type of fire.

Newer fire extinguishers use a picture/labeling system to designate which types of fires they are to be used on.

Older fire extinguishers are labeled with colored geometrical shapes and letter designations.

Class A Extinguishers will put out ordinary combustible fires, such as wood and paper. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher refers to the amount of water the fire extinguisher holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish.

Class B Extinguishers should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, etc. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher states the approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-expert person can expect to extinguish

Class C Extinguishers are suitable for use on electrically energized fires. This class of fire extinguishers does not have a numerical rating. The presence of the letter “C” indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive.

Class D Extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. There is no picture designator for Class D extinguishers. These extinguishers generally have no rating nor are they given a multi-purpose rating for use on other types of fires.

Usually, the best type of extinguisher to purchase for your home is the “Multipurpose” A-B-C extinguisher.

You can check out a great interactive fire extinguisher resource site here.

Each year in America, unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than 500 lives and sends another 15,000 people to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.1

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.

Understanding the Risk

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

Where does carbon monoxide come from?

CO gas can come from several sources: gas-fired appliances, charcoal grills, wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces and motor vehicles.

Who is at risk?

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Medical experts believe that unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens and people with heart or lung problems are at even greater risk for CO poisoning.

What Actions Do I Take if My Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off?

What you need to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off depends on whether anyone is feeling ill or not.

If no one is feeling ill:

1. Silence the alarm.

2. Turn off all appliances and sources of combustion (i.e. furnace and fireplace).

3. Ventilate the house with fresh air by opening doors and windows.

4. Call a qualified professional to investigate the source of the possible CO buildup.

If illness is a factor:

1. Evacuate all occupants immediately.

2. Determine how many occupants are ill and determine their symptoms.

3. Call your local emergency number and when relaying information to the dispatcher, include the number of people feeling ill.

4. Do not re-enter the home without the approval of a fire department representative.

5. Call a qualified professional to repair the source of the CO.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from CO Poisoning

* Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near the sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms. Make sure the alarm has been evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of CO over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. It is very possible that you may not be experiencing symptoms when you hear the alarm. This does not mean that CO is not present.
* Have a qualified professional check all fuel burning appliances, furnaces, venting and chimney systems at least once a year.
* Never use your range or oven to help heat your home and never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in your home or garage.
* Never keep a car running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.
* When purchasing an existing home, have a qualified technician evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooking systems, as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house. The presence of a carbon monoxide alarm in your home can save your life in the event of CO buildup.

Information courtesy of the United States Fire Administration.

USFA CO Fact Sheet (PDF) Lightning Facts

* Lightning causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries each year.
* Lightning occurs in all thunderstorms; each year lightning strikes the Earth 20 million times.
* The energy from one lightning flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.
* Most lightning fatalities and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
* Lightning can occur from cloud-to-cloud, within a cloud, cloud-to-ground, or cloud-to-air.
* Many fires in the United States are caused by lightning.

Lightning Myths and Truths

MYTH - If it is not raining, then there is no danger from lightning.

TRUTH - Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. This is especially true in the western United States where thunderstorms sometimes produce very little rain.

MYTH - The rubber soles of shoes or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being struck by lightning.

TRUTH - Rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. The steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal. Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.

MYTH - People struck by lightning carry an electrical charge and should not be touched.

TRUTH - Lightning-strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

Q: Who is at most risk from lightning?

A: People who are outdoors, especially under or near tall trees; in or on water; or on or near hilltops.

Lightning Safety Tips

* Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
* Move to a sturdy building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles. Stay away from tall objects such as towers, fences, telephone poles, and power lines.
* If lightning is occurring and a sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard top automobile and keep the windows up. Avoid touching any metal.
* Utility lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity from a lightning strike. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones ONLY in an emergency.
* Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm. Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.

If you get caught outdoors and no shelter is available -

* Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles.
* Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
* If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
* If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. DO NOT lie down.
* If you are boating or swimming, get to land immediately

Flash Flooding

* Flash flooding is the #1 cause of death associated with thunderstorms...more than 140 fatalities each year.
* Most flash flood fatalities occur at night and most victims are people who become trapped in automobiles.
* Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; a depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float.

Flash Flood Safety Tips

* Avoid walking, swimming, or driving in flood waters.
* Stay away from high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts. If it is moving swiftly, even water six inches deep can knock you off your feet.
* If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around, and go another way. Climb to higher ground.
* Do not let children play near storm drains.