Fire Safety… Does your family have a plan in place if a fire broke out in your home? Did you know there were 365,500 house fires in 2015? There were over 2,650 deaths and 11,075 injured from fires with $7 billion in damages reported. I am going to lay out some very valuable tips for you to get your home prepared in order to make your home safe and hopefully prevent a house fire. I had the opportunity to speak with a friend and firefighter in order to bring you these fire saftey prevention tips.
There are several components that you need to focus on to ensure you are focusing on prevention.
Q. Smoke detectors. What should we know?
A. You need to test smoke detectors monthly and its a good habit to change the batteries with each time change. For those of you in areas of the country where the time doesn’t change then set a calendar reminder and do it twice per year. Smoke detectors are generally good for 10 years and need to be replaced after that. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on each floor and outside of each bedroom.
Q. Fire extinguishers & fire safety. What should we know?
A. Have a fire extinguisher installed that is rated for homes. (The most common I’ve seen while doing my research is A-B-C.) They should be installed in a high place on a wall. Go to your local fire station or have a fire extinguisher manufacturer teach you how to properly use one. They are generally one and done when used.
Q. What are you general fire safety tips?
A. Make sure there aren’t space heaters running unattended. Never leave outlets overloaded with plugs and blow out all candles that are lit before leaving a room. Make sure all broken outlets are fixed properly. Move all flammable things away from heat sources where fires commonly break out. Those can be the stove, furnace, heaters and lights just to name a few. One thing most people forget is to change their furnace filters. Put a reminder on your phone to alert you every few months to change those filters out. Never keep flammables like gasoline in the garage.
Q. Can you explain what people should do if a fire breaks out?
A. Have an emergency plan in place in the case of an emergency. Always make sure your house numbers are visible from the street. It is a good rule of thumb to have house numbers at least 4 inches in height placed on a contrasting background. Make sure all of your family members, even the youngest; know how to dial 9-1-1.
You need to plan out and practice an escape plan at least twice per year and not just during the daytime. Practice at nighttime as well.
Make sure everyone knows what to do if they smell smoke. Get low, crawl to the exit. If you are escaping through a door and the door is shut then reach out and feel to see if it is warm. If it’s warm retreat out of the secondary exit such as a window. If you have to escape out of a space where there is a lot of smoke stay low where the oxygen is at.
Never open a door that is warm to the touch. Of course, if you smell smoke then you should start screaming “FIRE”…
Get out & stay out! Do not go back inside. Call 9-1-1 and wait for the first responders to arrive on the scene. Once you are outside and at your meeting place take a count of everyone and let the firefighters know if anyone is missing.
You need to have a plan in place for everyone, including your pets. Make sure everyone knows where to meet and how to communicate if a fire was to break out.
Lastly, make sure everyone knows how to STOP, DROP, and ROLL.
Just as an extra piece of advice you could even consider purchasing emergency escape ladders that roll up and store away easily for rooms with high windows. Store them near the window where they will be used.
I have prepared a printable checklist for you to print and use in your family to make sure you are prepared for the worst. This is something no one wants to think about, but everyone should be! Keep your family and home safe by implementing these fire safety tips and making sure you have an emergency plan in place.
Remember you can sign-up for the newsletter and get a free copy of my printable checklist and emergency plan today.
I wanted to give special thanks to my friend Chris for helping me prepare this Safe At Home Series by allowing me to pick his brain. He is my go-to guy for all things safety- home, fire, storms, and personal defense.
I hope you guys enjoyed these common sense tips, but often times we don’t think about this stuff and put it on the back burner. You never know when you or your kids will need to know this information. Your children may not always be with you if and when a fire breaks out. Teach them these lifesaving tips!
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