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Hickory Tree Volunteer Fire Department Inc.


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Remember to "go right for sirens & lights"
It's happened to nearly every motorist. You're driving in the left lane on a congested roadway when you hear a siren in the distance. You check your mirror to see where the emergency vehicle might be - behind you
Approaching you? More often than not, as the siren draws nearer you get that little glimmer of a flashing light in your rear view mirror and realize that ambulance or fire engine is nearly on your bumper.

The cars around you begin to jostle around, some striving to pull over into the right hand lane, most just coming to a dead stop where they are. Suddenly, you're in the hot seat with the sounds of a fire engine's honking horn now added into the mix of sirens.

As drivers, we all share responsibility for knowing and practicing correct driving behaviors. And, as most drivers know, you must yield the right-of-way to police cars, fire engines, fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles sounding a siren and/or flashing lights. Click here to read Tennessee's move over law.

Above all, remain calm. Do not panic. Move your vehicle appropriately, pulling to the right edge of the roadway. Watch for other traffic which may be pulling in behind you. Stop as soon as you can.

If you are in the left lane, pull over into the right lane as the traffic in the lane to your right moves over. Once to the right, stop.

What if you are trapped in the left lane or in a line of traffic, unable to pull over? Again, don't panic. Just move as far to the right as you possibly can and stop. The emergency vehicle will either find a way to get around you or make it known that other motorists need to keep moving to allow you to get over and for it to pass.

Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle(s) has passed. Then, remain at least 500 feet behind that vehicle.

By practicing correct driving behaviors, vital seconds may be dropped from the time it takes an emergency vehicle to reach its destination, often resulting in saving a life and property.


General Fire Safety & Protection Tips 

Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes.

Test windows and doors—do they open easy enough? Are they wide enough. Or tall enough?

Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.

Practice alerting other members. It is a good idea to keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.

Conduct a family meeting and discuss the following topics:

Always sleep with the bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape.
Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm. Yelling, pounding on walls, whistles, etc. Practice yelling "FIRE!"
In a fire, time is critical. Don't waste time getting dressed, don't search for pets or valuables. Just get out!
Roll out of bed. Stay low. One breath of smoke or gases may be enough to kill.

Additional Tips For Fire Safety

Install smoke detectors
Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Purchase smoke detectors labeled by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).

Post emergency numbers near telephones.
Be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out and place the call to fire authorities from a safe location outside the home.

After a fire emergency
Give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately. Stay out of the damaged building. Return only when fire authorities say it is safe.

Make sure you have a safe fire escape method for all situations
You may have installed a very expensive home security system. But if you cannot escape the burning structure you have a false level of confidence.

Space Heaters Need Space
Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them.

Smokers Need To Be Extra Careful
Never smoke in bed or when you are sleepy. Carelessly discarded cigarettes are a leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.

Be Careful Cooking
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so they do not over-hang the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner.

Matches and Lighters are Dangerous
In the hands of a child, matches and lighters can be deadly! Store them where kids can't reach them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are "tools" and should only be used by adults.

Use Electricity Safely
If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don't overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse.

Cool a Burn
If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound under cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately!

Be Careful of Halogen Lights
If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home or office.