Noble McIntyre on October 5, 2015
A smoke alarm in every bedroom. That’s the message that the National Fire Prevention Association wants you to hear, loud and clear. This is National Fire Prevention Week, and the theme for 2015 is using smoke alarms properly to keep your home safe. According to a recent survey by the NFPA, about half of the population doesn’t know that the safest way to sleep is to have a smoke detector in every bedroom in your home. That includes outside every sleeping area and on every level of the home, depending on how your residence is set up.
The NFPA says that half of home fire deaths in the U.S. happen during 11pm and 7am, which is when people are usually sleeping. And, if you have a working fire alarm, you can cut that risk in half.
Simply having smoke alarms in your home is not enough. You also have to be sure that they are placed and installed correctly. Here are some tips that you can use to be sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your family safe:
If there are several people living in your home, have an escape plan in place. Teach children that if they hear the smoke alarm, they GET OUT. Leave toys, pets and other belongings behind. Make sure that your children understand the fastest way out of the house from any location. Teach them to feel a door before they open it; if the door is hot, there could be fire on the other side.
Crawl, or stay low to the floor, when escaping fire. The safest air for breathing will be at the lowest point. Remember to call 9-1-1 once you’re out of the house and have reached safety. And, once you’re out, stay out. Don’t go back in — let the firefighters do their jobs.
Finally, establish a “safety” spot for your family so that you know everyone is accounted for. Find a place outside the house, and far enough away so that you’re safe from the fire, where everyone can find each other in the event of an emergency. This can be a tree at the edge of your property, a neighbor’s driveway, or other convenient location. Make sure it’s a spot that everyone in the house can get to easily. This way, you’ll know that your family is safe if there’s a fire emergency in your home. Be smart, be safe.