October 7-13th is fire prevention and safety week. After talking with local fire fighters, I’ve put together these tips to help keep your home safe and fire-free.
Check smoke alarms at least every 6 months. 4 out of 5 fire related deaths are caused by house fires. Check that the smoke detectors work properly but if your smoke detector is more than 5 years old, consider replacement. Properly functioning smoke detectors will give you 1-2 minutes warning to be able to get out of the house safely in the event of a fire. Smoke alarms should be placed in every bedroom and on each level of the home.
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Cooking left unattended is the leading cause of house fires. If you’re cooking, keep watch. If you’re roasting or baking be sure to check your food often. Even while watching, flareups can happen. Keeping a portable extinguisher in the kitchen can help prevent a disaster.
Have a Fire Escape Plan. You should have two exit options from every room. If you have young children, have two routes for how you will evacuate them from the home. Have a meet up spot outside where everyone will meet after they exit the home. It also helps to practice your fire escape plan.
Don’t forget the garage. Garages are often used as a multipurpose room. Storing gas, oil, paint and other flammable items near electrical items can be a fire hazard. Combining these fire hazards with Christmas decorations and old memorabilia can cause fire to spread rapidly from a single spark. Take caution by storing flammable items away from electrical outlets, hot water heaters, washers and dryers.
For more information or educational activities for kids visit the National Fire Prevention Association website.