As we head into the holidays, we want to offer locals five quick safety tips to help prevent a home fire during what should be a festive time of the year.
1. Have Working Smoke Detectors
This may seem like a no-brainer, but some people forget to change batteries and regularly test the smoke detectors in their homes. Set a day every year – like January 1st – to install new batteries, or immediately when the alarm begins to chirp. Smoke alarms are designed to alert you before the battery dies, allowing you time to replace it. Smoke detectors should be placed on every level of your home, tested monthly, new batteries installed annually, and the units replaced after 10 years. Some alarms can also be Interconnected, so that when one goes off in one area of a house, they all sound.
2. Create an Escape Plan
Once you have working smoke alarms installed throughout your home, you should have a fire-exit plan that all family members are aware of with the quickest escape routes from every room in your home. Run through safety drills occasionally, so that everyone remains on the same page and the escape plan becomes second nature. Fires are scary and will likely bring chaos and panic, and a well-rehearsed family exit plan is beneficial for both adults and children. In addition, ensure children are aware of fire hazards and rules – for example, feeling a door for heat before opening it, and “stop, drop, and roll.” Once you’re out of the home, never go back inside.