Fire Prevention Tips
A small fire can grow into a deadly one within one or two minutes. To help prevent a tragedy, closely inspect your home to eliminate potential hazards. Prepare your home for an emergency, and teach your family about the dangers of fire and how to escape.
When I was a young girl we were moving into a two story house. They were hooking up the gas cook stove and some how there was a swish of gas, that went to the gas hot water heater, and boom the house was on fire. It burned to the ground in a very short period of time.
We woke up the next morning, in our Uncle's school bus converted into a camper, with only the clothes on our backs. We did not have a brush to fix our hair, toothpaste or toothbrush, or anything else. That is a feeling I will never forget as long as I live. We had lost everything.
When it comes to fire prevention, I am so thrilled that our local fire department goes to the schools and teaches fire safety. They give some great tips and these are a few samples:
Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom.
Smoke alarms can be battery-operated or electrically hardwired in your home and are available at a variety of price points.
If you have hearing problems, use alarms with flashing strobe lights and vibration.
Test smoke alarms every month. Replace batteries once a year, even if alarms are hardwired.
Test your smoke alarms at night to see if your child will wake up and respond to the alarm. Children sleep more deeply and may not wake up. If your child does not wake up to the alarm, try an alarm where you can program your voice to alert him or her.
Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings since smoke rises. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least 4 inches away from the nearest wall. Wall-mounted alarms should be installed 4 to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.
Consider installing both ionization alarms, which are better at sensing flaming fires, and photoelectric alarms, which are better at sensing slow, smoky fires, or dual sensor alarms.
Consider installing a home sprinkler system.
Plan and practice several escape routes and a safe place to meet outside.
Plan and practice two escape routes out of each room of the house. It is important to have an alternate escape route in case one is blocked by fire.
Have a designated person to help young children and others who might have difficulty escaping.
Fire drills should be practiced at least twice a year. Home fires and home fire-related deaths are more likely to occur during cold-weather months, December through February.
Practice your escape plan at night to see if your child awakes to the smoke alarms.
Designate an outside meeting place, so all members of the family can be accounted for quickly. Once you are outside, call the fire department or 911 from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone.