Fire Prevention

A key responsibility of any fire department is to educate the people it protects by teaching them about fire safety. Throughout the year, the department delivers educational programs to school children, senior citizens, special interest groups, or anyone else who makes a request for information. If you are interested in finding out how the Spanish Fort Fire Rescue Department can help you before a fire starts, please contact us at (251) 626-8876, or use our Online Form.

Holiday Safety

Christmas Tree Safety

Consider purchasing an artificial tree because they are safer and cleaner.

  • A real tree should not lose green needles when you tap it on the ground.
  • Cut 1 inch off the trunk to help absorb water.
  • Leave the tree outside until ready to decorate.
  • The tree stand should hold at least 1 gallon of water and be the proper size for the tree base.
  • A 6’ tree will use 1 gallon of water every two days.
  • Mix a commercial preservative with the water.
  • Check the water level every day.
  • Secure the tree to prevent it from tipping.
  • Keep the tree away from all flames and heat sources.
  • Before decorating the tree, the first step should be to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions concerning installation and maintenance of the electrical decorations.
  • Consider using miniature lights, which have cool-burning bulbs.
  • Before plugging in newly purchased electrical decorations, or those you have used previously, carefully inspect each decoration. Cracked sockets, frayed, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious electric shock or start a fire.
  • Always unplug a light string or electrical decoration before replacing light bulbs or fuses.
  • Don’t mount or support light strings in any way that might damage the cord’s wire insulation.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions on your electrical decorations to determine the maximum number of decorative lights (light strings) and decorations that may be connected together. If the product packaging does not indicate the number of light strings that may be connected together, practice this rule of thumb: do not connect more than three light string sets together.
  • Don’t overload extension cords – it could cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.
  • Don’t allow children or pets to play with light strings or other electrical decorations. These decorations aren’t toys and could produce a deadly electric shock if they are misused.
  • Turn off the Christmas lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use candles, even on artificial trees.
  • Clean the tree stand to improve the tree’s water intake, use one capfull of bleach to a cup of water.
  • Dispose of the tree properly and consider recycling your tree.

Home Safety

This is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. This year, buy batteries along with your Christmas tree, and on December 25, change your batteries.

Every home should have a smoke detector inside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as family rooms, living rooms, or dens.

Remember cooking vapors and steam sometimes set off a smoke detector. To correct this, try moving the detector away from the kitchen or bathroom. Cleaning your detector regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, may also help.

Plan your escape routes from the home. Know at least two ways out of each room. Go directly to a specified outside meeting place and then call the fire department. Once you’re out, stay out. Never return to a burning building.

After holiday parties, check around and under sofa and chair cushions for smoldering cigarettes. (Provide lots of ash trays during the party)

Have an operable fire extinguisher readily available.

Safety Gift Ideas

Consider putting together a gift basket containing one or more of the following items:

  • Three smoke detectors and batteries.
  • A quality fire extinguisher.
  • A flashlight and batteries or light sticks.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A mobile phone.

In Case of Fire

If you wake in bed with smoke in the room:

  • Roll out of bed.
  • Stay low and crawl to the door. Smokes fills a room from the ceiling down.
  • Test the door with the back of your hand.
  • If the door is hot, go to another exit.
  • If the door is cool, open it slowly and go to your meeting place outside the home.
  • Use your neighbor’s phone and call for help (DIAL 911).
  • Do not go back in your home. You may be seriously injured.

Highrise Apartment

Follow the same rules and include the following: Take the stairs when exiting. Close the door behind you and take your keys. Do not use the elevator. Elevators may open at a floor on fire or stop working, trapping you inside.

If You Are Trapped Inside Your Apartment

  • Close the doors between you and the fire.
  • Stop up cracks and vents to keep smoke out.
  • Put a wet cloth over your nose and wait at a window.
  • Phone the fire department, DIAL 911.
  • If unable to reach a phone, signal for help with a sheet or flashlight.

If Your Clothes Catch Fire

  • STOP – Do not run. It will fan the flames, making them bigger.
  • DROP – To the Ground or floor immediately and cover your face with your hands.
  • ROLL – Over back and forth to smother the flames.
  • COVER your eyes with your hands.

Emergency Phone Procedure

  • DIAL 911.
  • Give your address.
  • Give your room number and floor.
  • Give your name.
  • Give the type of emergency.
  • Don’t hang up until the emergency operator finishes talking to you!
  • Give your phone number.

Escape Plan

Escape Routes

Plan two or more escape routes from every room. Remember, a fire can prevent you from reaching other rooms.

Meeting Place

Don’t forget to include a special meeting place to make sure everybody is out and safe! Don’t waste time getting dressed or gathering valuables – every second counts…Get Out!