October 13, 2015
When you think of October, what comes to mind? Perhaps falling leaves, cooler temperatures and Halloween. It’s also a good time to think about home fire safety.
October has long been a month where fire prevention has been a focus. Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has observed Fire Protection Week during October. The NFPA estimates that an average of 357,000 home structure fires occur every year.
As Charter our Community is all about keeping your home safe and healthy, we’ve asked our partner Rebuilding Together to help us get the word out about fire safety. Read on below for some valuable fire safety tips.
Proper smoke alarm installation and maintenance is the first line of defense from potentially damaging and deadly home fires. Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
You can pick up effective alarms at your local hardware store or retailer for less than $20. If you are unable to afford or install smoke detectors yourself, many local fire departments – as well as the American Red Cross’s Home Fire Preparedness Campaign – will install battery-operated alarms for community residents at no cost.
Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home. Once installed, you should test each alarm in your home once a month.
Pressing the button should cause the alarm to beep. If it doesn’t activate, it is time to change the battery, or change out the alarm for a new one. Alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years.
Having a home evacuation plan in the event of a fire is crucial. Fire and smoke spread quickly, so you need to act fast in the event of a home fire. Here are some ways to ensure that everyone in your home can quickly and calmly get to safety:
Remember, practice makes perfect. It is recommended that you and other residents in your home practice your fire evacuation plan at least twice a year. Half of all fire deaths happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep, so it is helpful to practice your evacuation plan in the dark.
Basic fire prevention techniques can save your home from severe damage. You can take small steps to help prevent home fires:
If you suspect a fire in your home, don’t hesitate. Follow your home evacuation plan to ensure that you and your family get to safety. If you are unable to get out before the fire intensifies, follow these tips:
If you are unable to get out of your home, close the doors to the room you are in and try to cover vents and cracks around the doors. Call 9-1-1 or your local fire department, describe to them where you are in the house and, if there is a window, signal for help with light-colored clothing or a flashlight.
We hope these fire prevention tips help you enjoy your home for years to come. For more fire safety ideas, be sure to check out: