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12 October 2012
By Bill Burton
For as long as I can remember Daylight Saving Time meant it was also the time for our home safety check. We always check the batteries in our smoke detectors and flashlight and check the gauges on our fire extinguishers when we move the clocks. This year I was surprised when I actually received a letter of from my insurance company reminding me about doing a safety check and offering some “Daylight Savings Safety Tips”
•Replace batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and emergency flashlights, once the batteries are replaced, test these safety devices to ensure they work properly.
•Prepare or restock an emergency supply kit for your home.
•Prepare or restock an emergency supply kit for your vehicle.
•Check home, yard and shed for hazardous materials and carefully discard any that are outdated, no longer used, or in poor condition.
The letter from the insurance company was just a confirmation that we need to be reminded about safety every so often so we stay safe at home. After reading I started thinking that this might be a good time to remind everyone of the safety tips that we should follow to stay safe when we visit the casino. Many of us check into our hotel rooms or go into the casino to play for a while and never give a thought about what we should do if an emergency should arise.
Hotels and casinos are built with safety in mind but they are not fire proof. The last thing you want to do is to gamble with your safety when you go on vacation. Here are some simple tips that can save your life in the event of a fire at your hotel.
TAKE THE FIRE ALARM SERIOUSLY
Most of us have become cynical when we hear an alarm. If we hear an alarm in a hotel our first thoughts usually that it is a false alarm. Assuming this could cost you your life. If you hear an alarm you should heed it and immediately leave to get to safety. Don’t take time to pack. The only thing you should take with you is your room key in case you have to return to your room because the exits are blocked.
KNOW THE LOCATION OF EXITS
Most hotels post a chart on the inside of the door showing the emergency exits and stairwells. After you check into your room look at the chart to find two routes out. In the event of a fire one of them may be blocked and you want to have a secondary escape route. Then go back out in the hallway and walk the routes counting the number of doors along the way. In the event of a fire you may not be able to see and knowing how many doors you have to pass can guide you to the exit. If you are visiting the casino for the day, check for the nearest exit before you sit down to play.
PACK A FLASHLIGHT
You should pack a small flashlight in your suitcase before you leave for your trip. I leave one in the outer compartment of my suitcase and have made a habit of checking the batteries when I pack for my trip. A small light that you can reach quickly can also be kept in a purse or on a key chain. In the event of a fire there may not be any light in the hallway outside of your room due to smoke or a power failure. Since smoke rises you may not see the exit signs that are placed higher up in the hallways. Having your own light can help guide you to safety.
CHECK THE DOOR
Before leaving your room you should feel the door and the door knob for heat. Use the back of your hand to do this. If they are warm it means that there may be fire in the hallway and you should not open the door. If they are cool, open the door slowly and then head for the stairway. Do not take the elevator because if the power goes out you could be trapped.
Smoke is the number one killer in a fire so you must do your best to avoid it. Smoke and heat rise forcing the oxygen down to the floor. Stay low to the ground if there is smoke in the hallway. You should also keep close to the wall to stay out of the way of panicking guests who may be running to the exits.
GOING BACK TO YOUR ROOM
If the smoke is too dense at floor level in the corridor or if the emergency stairwell is filled with smoke you should not attempt to go through it. Stairwells are supposed to be constructed to keep smoke and fire out but if there is damage to the structure, they can act as chimneys funneling smoke to the top of the building. You will be safer returning to your room than attempting to go through the smoke.
TRAPPED IN YOUR ROOM
If you are unable to leave or have to go back to your room the first thing you should do is to try and alert someone that you are trapped. Try the house phone and see if it is working. If someone answers give them your room number and tell them you are trapped. Even if you are able to reach someone on the houses phone, you should also call 911 and let them know your location. If your room phone does not work try your cell phone.
If smoke is coming into your room you should wet towels and place them around the doors and vents. If the smoke is heavy you may want to do this first before you attempt to call for help. This is a decision that you will have to make.
DON'T BREAK THE WINDOWS
You should never break the windows in your room. Fire needs oxygen to survive and it will be drawn to the air from the broken window.
In the event of an emergency you need to stay calm and try not to panic. Knowing these tips and planning for an emergency ahead of time will help you keep a clear head.
Until next time, remember: Luck comes and goes, but knowledge stays forever.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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