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No one likes to think about bad things happening to their home or family. But things like home fires do happen — more often than you might think. Home fires kill an average of seven people every day, and they cause billions of dollars in property damage. “We know fire safety is important to families,” said Michelle Atkinson, Vice President of Marketing for Energizer North America. “Energizer is proud to partner with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and 6,400 fire departments around the country in their long-standing commitment to spreading the lifesaving message of fire safety and preparedness with tips like these.” Here are some easy steps you and your family can take to protect your home and each other, and to understand the basics of fire safety. These simple facts that explain the particular characteristics of fire.

✚ Fire is fast. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. If you wake up to a fire, you won’t have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

✚ Fire is hot. A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

✚ Fire is dark. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in for years.

✚ Fire is deadly. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape. .............................................................................................................................. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) believes that fire deaths can be reduced by teaching people the basic facts about fire.

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