Dublin Villager

Smoke Signals If clothes catch fire, remember to 'stop, drop and roll'

All clothing can burn, although some fabrics burn more easily than others.

If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL to put out the flames.

Don't run, stand or shake the part of your clothing that is on fire.

This only fuels the fire with more oxygen and worsens the situation.

Instead, stop and drop to the floor or ground. Then, roll or rock back and forth to smother the flames.

Rolling helps reduce the fire's oxygen supply.

If possible, roll in a rug, blanket or coat to smother the fire faster.

When the fire is out, cool the burn with water and call the fire department.

Do not remove the burned clothing if it is stuck to the skin.

Keep the victim quiet and warm until help arrives.

Seconds count in any fire, so being able to put the fire out as quickly as possible is vital.

Running in response to danger such as a fire is natural in all age groups, but is more common in younger children.

Frightened children often run to find their parents or water, believing that it is the only way to put out a fire.

By practicing the stop, drop and roll procedure with your family, you can help increase the likelihood they will be able to put it into practice when needed instead of running for help or water.

Most clothing fires are the result of careless accidents and can be prevented if you:

* Practice caution when using or working with heat sources or flames.

* Keep children away from heat sources such as candles, stoves, cigarettes, outdoor grills, matches, portable heaters, etc.

* Don't wear loose-fitting clothing or clothes with draping sleeves while cooking or near heat sources.

* Purchase flame-retardant clothing for children when possible.

Washington Township Fire Department Fire Marshal Alan Perkins submitted the Smoke Signals column.

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