Ahhhh. Fall is in the air.
Soon, we’ll be wearing scarves, whipping up big batches of chili, and starting cozy fires in our fireplaces—and that’s why it makes sense that October is Fire Safety Month. This is a great time of year to go over fire safety basics with your family and make sure you’re equipped with the tools you need to prevent house fires! Here are a few key fire safety tips:
Check your smoke alarms.
A working smoke alarm can reduce your risk of dying in a fire by nearly 50%—that’s no small change. You should have a smoke alarm on every level of your house, outside of every sleeping area, and in each bedroom. Pick a notable yearly event (like Daylight Savings Time) to check your smoke alarms, or invest in an alarm with a 10-year battery. Smoke alarms expire after 10 years, so if they’re older than that, go ahead and replace them.
Have an escape plan.
Plan two ways out of every room and designate a spot away from the home for everybody to meet in case of a fire. Designate one person to get infants and children out, but have a backup plan. Smoke rises, so teach kids to stay low and get out fast. Have them practice feeling doors and doorknobs to see if they are too hot. Once you’re out, stay out, and call 911 once you’re out of the house. If you’re trapped inside, cover vents and areas where smoke could get in and call 911 immediately. Signal for help through a window with a flashlight or flag.
Use common sense around kitchens and flammable items.
This may be common sense, but it’s worth repeating: keep flammable items like dish towels away from cooktops and heat sources. Keep space heaters three feet away from anything flammable, and don’t leave kids and pets unsupervised around them.
Have a fire extinguisher—and know how to use it.
Some folks have a fire extinguisher in their kitchens for years and never learn how to use it! So make sure you’ve got one handy and that everyone in the home is well versed on how to use it in case of emergency.