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Protect Your Home / Apartment From Fire

7:50 PM, Jul 15, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro Fire Department set a house on fire to practice firefighting skills.

Greensboro, N.C. - The weekend fire that killed two little ones made us stop and think. If we just report this story and move on, it doesn't seem right. We wanted to take this tragedy to look for a lesson, a way to help you and your family to try to prevent this from happening again.

More than one third of all home or business fires in Greensboro begin in the kitchen. The Greensboro Fire Department says one of the biggest mistakes people make is getting distracted while cooking. When you're distracted, you're more likely to forget you left a pot on the stove, or even forget to turn off the oven.

Greensboro Deputy Fire Marshal Todd Lynch said, "A lot of times the lessons we learn in life are lessons because we wait until they actually happen to us instead of looking at what has happened to our neighbors and our friends and families."

The second big mistake people make: not having two ways to escape. The door is the most obvious choice, but a window can also save your life. Some people nail their windows shut for security, but that's a dangerous decision.

Firefighters also suggest having something near your window to break the glass, just in case the window gets stuck.

The final mistake people make is going back in the house to rescue a pet. Instead, stop by any fire department and pick up a red sticker. It lets firefighters know you have animals. When you stick it next to your door, they'll know to look for your pets.

If you've ever lived in an apartment complex or even a dorm, you know people can set off fire alarms accidentally at all hours of the day and night. So, when you're in an apartment building, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring the alarm.

Forgetting you have limited control is a close second. In other words, you might have a fire extinguisher and working smoke detectors, but your neighbor could still do something careless-- like forgetting to blow out a candle.

"What you do can directly affect someone else. The precautions you take can ultimately save some else's life or prevent someone from getting hurt," Lynch said.

This leads to the final mistake apartment renters make: they do not know how to get out. Your balcony may be your best bet. Does your complex have a fire escape ladder? Do you know how to use it?

The Greensboro Fire Department provides FREE batteries and FREE smoke detectors to anyone who lives in the city limits. For more information, click here.

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