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The following information
comes from:
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20591

Listen to the Safety Briefing
"Fly Smart" travelers always listen to the safety briefing because they know that every aircraft is different. The following are some tips to ensure that you are familiar with the aircraft you are on:
  • Take the passenger safety card out of the seat pocket and follow along while you listen to the safety briefing.
  • Always take a moment to review the card before subsequent takeoffs and landings.
  • One of the best things you can do to be prepared is to mentally plan the actions you would need to take in an emergency. As part of this plan, count seat rows between you and at least two exits.
  • If you have any questions about the safety procedures, ask the flight attendant. Flight attendants are professionals; they know about the safety procedures of the aircraft.

Fasten Your Seat Belt
Of all the safety features aboard the aircraft, one of the most important is right at your fingertips—your seat belt. In a recent study, nearly 300 turbulence-related serious injuries to passengers were reported over a 10-year period. None of the injured had their seat belts fastened. To prevent turbulence-related injuries, "Fly Smart" travelers should always:
  • Keep their seat belts fastened at all times.
  • Make sure their seat belt is secured snugly and low across the hips.

Obey Carry-On Baggage Restrictions
"Fly Smart" travelers should be aware of what they bring on board. Most airlines restrict carry-on baggage to two pieces per passenger.
  • Carry-on bags must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bins.
  • It's a good idea to put the heavier items under the seat. Carry-on items could become flying projectiles during turbulence. Heavy items and baggage with sharp corners can be hazardous.

Some hazardous materials are restricted. They can be dangerous if carried (or checked) on an aircraft. Following is a partial list of common articles from the home, workplace, or garage which, because of their physical or chemical properties, can pose a danger when transported.
  • Mace, tear gas, and other irritants
  • Aerosols containing flammable material (hair spray, deodorant, repellents)
  • Loaded firearms
  • Loose ammunition
  • Gasoline and other flammable materials
  • Propane, butane cylinders or refills, and lighter refills wet-type batteries, e.g., used in cars
  • Fireworks and flares
  • Safety or "strike-anywhere" matches (in checked baggage)
  • Paint and paint-related materials (thinners and cleaners)
  • Corrosive (acids), poisonous, infectious, and radioactive materials

The above list is not all-inclusive. There are certain exceptions for personal care, medical needs, and equipment to support physically challenged passengers. There are also provisions for sporting equipment. When in doubt, check with your airline.

In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation, leave everything behind.

Wear Sensible Clothing
For ease of movement and protection in the unlikely event of an evacuation, "Fly Smart" travelers should follow these guidelines:
  • Wear clothes made of natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, denim, and leather. They offer the best protection. Synthetics may melt when they are heated.
  • Wear clothing that allows freedom of movement. Avoid restrictive clothing.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes or boots. (Shoes with laces or straps are recommended. Avoid sandals.)
  • Arms and legs should be as fully covered as possible. (Long sleeves/pants are recommended.)

In the unlikely event of an emergency you should be aware of the following:

Evacuation Slides
  • Jump feet first into the center of slide.
  • Do not sit down to slide.
  • Place arms across chest, elbows in, and legs and feet together.
  • High-heeled shoes can damage slides.

Rapid Decompression
  • Pull oxygen mask toward you to start oxygen flow.
  • Put your oxygen mask on as quickly as possible.
  • Help children and others with their masks.

Flotation Devices
  • Know where they are and how to use them.
  • Life vests (under seat, if available), life rafts, and some seat cushions and evacuation slides can be used as flotation devices.

Evacuating the Aircraft
  • Follow instructions of crew members, if possible.
  • Stay calm and proceed quickly to exit.
  • Leave all your possessions behind.

Fire Or Smoke
  • Use wet paper towel or handkerchief over nose and mouth.
  • Move away from the source of fire and smoke.

On Ground:
  • Stay low.
  • Proceed by your predetermined count of seat rows to exits and/or follow floor proximity lighting to an exit.
  • Exit the aircraft.
  • Leave all your possessions behind.

Outside the Aircraft
  • Move away from aircraft, fire, and smoke.
  • If possible, help those requiring assistance.
  • Remain alert for emergency vehicles.
  • Never go back into a burning aircraft.

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