Friday, October 11, 2013

Protect Your House and Home!

Did you know that there were over 364,000 residential structure fires in 2011 resulting in over 6 billion dollars in damages?  Three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or without functioning smoke alarms.  Taking simple steps toward fire prevention can save both your home and your family.

With the help of the American Red Cross we've compiled a very basic fire safety checklist:

  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working by pushing the test button.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Changing them when you change your clocks for daylight-savings is a great way to remember.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years as they may become unreliable or ineffective after that time.
  • Never disable smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Ensure that all household member know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside in case of fire.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day.
  • Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL 9-1-1.
  • Never open doors that are warm to the touch, use your second way out.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. If possible, place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
Make an escape route, practice it, talk about what would happen if there were to be a fire in your house, and be prepared!

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