It is an unfortunate statistic, but over 2500 people die every year from structure fires within their own homes. The main reasons for so many fatalities are lack of working smoke detectors and poor emergency planning.
Fortunately, you can prepare your family for a fire emergency.
- Your number one defense against a fire? Smoke detectors – they save lives! Incorporate a monthly fire detector check into your routine. Ensure that each detector functions properly and replace batteries a minimum of every 6 months.
- Many everyday items such as sofas, curtains, and rugs can combust easily, causing fire to spread rapidly through your home. If you can interconnect your smoke detectors, then do so. This allows every smoke detector to go off in unison, alerting everyone in your home to a fire.
- Do a thorough walkthrough of your home to pre-plan escape routes. If you have an upstairs, invest in a collapsible hanging ladder and practice the escape with your children.
- Children should always be aware of fire safety rules, such as staying away from lit candles, active fireplaces, and lighters. Anything flammable should always be kept out of their reach.
- Regularly practice your emergency plan with every member of your family and also have a plan in place to protect your pets. You don’t want family members running back into a burning home for animals, so make sure that you plan ahead for your pets’ safety, too.
- Keep stacks of wood, and other combustibles away from your house. Make sure there are no oil-soaked rags, gas cans or other flammables near lit fires such as hot water tanks.
- Also, don’t ignore the smell of natural gas. If you suspect your home may have a gas leak, call your natural gas company immediately.
Home fires can be deadly, but you can ensure your families safety with advance warning from smoke detectors and a solid family escape plan. Make sure to review your safety plan regularly so confusion and panic don’t overrule your pre-planned actions. Remember, practice = safety.