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Biggest Little City

Home & Seasonal Safety Tips

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Residential fires account for thousands of the fires, injuries and deaths reported annually in the United States.  
 
Many of these deaths and injuries could be prevented by following some simple home safety tips such as installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and having a home escape plan.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a harmful, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas which is emitted by all fuel-burning appliances and vehicles in and around the home.

It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.  After being inhaled, it replaces the oxygen in your blood, depriving your organs and cells of the life-giving oxygen they need to function. It also prevents the release of oxygen into your blood stream. This one-two fatal punch causes asphyxiation and death. Since children are smaller and have a faster metabolism than adults, they take in carbon monoxide faster than we do. The elderly are also more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The best defense against carbon monoxide is to make sure your home has a good exchange of fresh air, that chimneys and flues are clear, and that all appliances are well-maintained and properly adjusted. Additionally, a properly operating carbon monoxide detector or detectors should be located in the living and sleeping areas of your home.

Escape Plan

Plan your home escape 
Once a fire has started, it spreads rapidly. You may have only seconds to get out. Normal exits from bedrooms may be blocked by smoke or fire. It is important that everyone knows exactly what to do. Plan and practice escaping before an emergency strikes. 

Identify escape routes 
Draw a floor plan of your house. Plan two exits from every room and trace them onto your floor plan. You may need a ladder for second-story windows. 

Have a place to meet 
Choose a meeting place outside the home. Meet there during your practice drills. Do not go back into a burning building! 

Practice escaping 
Practice your home escape plan. Practice allows you to test and perfect your plan before a real emergency. It is important that everybody knows exactly what to do during an emergency. 

Smoke detectors 
There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor, bedroom and hallways of the house except attics, unless the attic space is used for sleeping.

Please visit the National Fire Protection Association for helpful tips and safety brochures.  If you have questions, call the Division of Fire Prevention at 775-334-2300.

Remember, being prepared could save your life! 

Defensible Space

Living in Nevada means learning to live in an environment that burns.
As our community moves closer and closer to the wildland urban interface - the area where the "city" meets open land - there are practical and specific steps you can take to protect your home from wildfires.

 FACT: Homes with adequate defensible space are more likely to survive a wildland fire.

What is Defensible Space?

Defensible Space is the area around your home where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the fire threat. The size of a home's defensible space varies, depending upon property size, location, and topography. Sometimes, a defensible space is simply a homeowner's properly maintained backyard. Yet other property owners might need to provide over 200 feet of defensible space around their property. To calculate an effective defensible space for your home, go to www.livingwithfire.info. Click on "before the fire" and then go to the "defensible space" section. Please explore this website. It will give you great information on many aspects of how to protect your home from wildland fire. 

Why create Defensible Space around your home?
The purpose of defensible space is two-fold. A properly designed defensible space can provide our firefighters with a safe place from which to defend your home from an approaching wildland fire. At the same time, homes with adequate defensible space are more likely to survive a wildland fire, even without firefighter assistance. 

How to create Defensible Space

The Reno Fire Department would like to encourage you to create a defensible space around your home. You can do this by implementing the three "R's" into your landscaping design:
  • Removal
  • Reduction
  • Replacement

Remove dead or flammable vegetation. Reduce vegetation by pruning or mowing. Providing space between plants and trees removes the continuous fuel bed that might otherwise exist throughout your yard. The more continuous and dense the vegetation is in your yard, the greater the wildfire threat to your home. Replace flammable vegetation with less hazardous choices. Shorter plants are better than taller plants, and non-woody plants are better than evergreens or junipers.

Learn how to request permission to create defensible space on public property surrounding your home.

Make it easy for firefighters to get to your home
It is also important for the safety of our firefighters, should they respond to a wildland fire in your area, that your address is clearly posted and readily visible from the street, and that street signs are posted and unobstructed. Clear vegetation along both sides of your driveway and, if your driveway is longer than 150 feet, a turnaround suitable and large enough for fire equipment is required. 

Work together with your neighbors
As more and more of us move into what was formerly open space, it becomes increasingly important that we work together, as neighbors, to keep our homes, our subdivisions, and our communities safe. Ideally, we should all have appropriate defensible space around our homes. If you and your neighbors would like help organizing or planning, please do not hesitate to contact the Division of Fire Prevention at 775-334-2300.

Extinguishers

Portable extinguishers are for use on small fires only, but even small fires can be dangerous if extinguishers are used incorrectly. If the fire gets larger than about the size of a small trashcan, leave the area. You can be quickly overcome if you remain.

Become familiar with your portable fire extinguisher. If you don't have an extinguisher, purchase one at your earliest opportunity. For home use, we recommend no smaller than 5 pound, and a dry chemical with an ABC rating can be used in a variety of situations. 

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
Fire Extinguishers are classified according to the types of fire they are designed to extinguish. Fires are divided into four classes: A, B, C, and D.

extinguisher a A. Ordinary combustibles- wood, paper, many plastics and other common materials.
extinguisher b B. Flammable liquids- gasoline, lacquers, solvents and other flammable liquiIds.
extinguisher c C. Electrical equipment-energized electrical equipment, circuit breakers and appliances.
extinguisher d D. Combustible metals

Safety points to Consider when fighting the fire:
  1. Make sure everyone is leaving the area
  2. Assign one person to call 9-1-1
  3. Never fight a fire if:
  • The fire is spreading beyond the immediate area where it started.
  • The fire could block your escape route.
  • You are unsure of the operation of the fire exinguisher.
  • You are in doubt about the fire extinguisher being the correct type for the fire you are facing. If in doubt, leave immediately,  and close off the area. Let the professionals fight the fire. 

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