WHAT TO DO AFTER A FIRE
- Give first aid where neeed. After calling 911 or your local emergency number, cool and cover burns, which reduces the chance of further injury or infection. Seriously injured or burned victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately.
- Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter. Fire may have caused damage that could injure you or your family. There may be residual smoke or gases that are unsafe to breathe.
- Look for structural damage. Fire authorities may allow you to re-enter, but may not have completed a thorough inspection. Look for damage that will need repair.
- Check that all wiring and utilities are safe. Fire may cause damage that will need repair.
- Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. The high temperatures of fire and it by-products can make food unsafe.
- Contact your insurance agent. Don't discard damaged goods until an inventory has been taken. Save receipts for money spent relating to fire loss. Your insurance agent may provide immediate help with living expenses until you are able to return home, and offer asistance for repairs.
- Continue listening to local radio or television stations of a NOAA weather Radio for updated information and instructions. access may be limited to some parts of the community, or roads may be blocked.
- Help a neighbor who may require special assistance, infants, elderly people and people with disabilities. Elderly pople and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance caring for several people in an emergency situations.
- Watch out for fallen power lines and report them immediately. reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and possible injury.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
- Call for help. Get someone to dial 911. Medical attention is needed as quickly as possible.
- Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopping beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries.
- Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck, and where the electricity left their body. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people, and they can be handled safely.
FIX IT YOURSELF
- Clear a 30 foot "defensible space" between your house and surrounding wooded areas, removing all dry grass, leaves, brush ad firewood.
- Prune all lower branches within six feet of the ground for trees taller than 18 feet, to prevent ground fires from spreading to treetops.
- Install surge protection devices on all electrical appliances in your home.
- Have at least one dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand.
- Install smoke detectors. Test monthly. Change batteries at least once a year.
- Enclose the undersides of balconies and above ground decks with non-combustible materials.
- Cover fireplace chimney outlet, attic vents and sub-floor vents with non-combustible screening of 1/4 inch sixe or less to prevent spread of fire.
FIX IT WITH SOME HELP
Install a whole house surge protection system to protect against lightning damage.
FIX IT WHEN BUILDING OR REMODELING
Consider installing a residential fire sprinkler system.
Install ground fault indicators within electrical outlets.