With well over a million fires reported across the US every year, fire safety shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many residential fires result from cooking, heating, electrical malfunctions, and easily-preventable causes like lit cigarettes that aren’t disposed of properly. Are you and your loved ones prepared should a fire happen in your home? If businesses and schools practice fire safety, why aren’t we doing the same in our homes— the very places that are most prone to fires? Hospitality Health ER wants to make sure you and your family practice fire safety at home so you know what to do in the event of a fire. Here are three most important tips that can potentially save you and your family’s life.
1: Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms:
One of the easiest and most important steps you can take to protect your family against fire is to ensure your smoke alarms are working. If you don’t have any, you can buy them online, at a home improvement store, or sometimes in pharmacies for a very low cost. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, and there should be one outside every bedroom or any area where someone sleeps.
Be sure to test your smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Clean your smoke detectors twice a year and remove dust once a month. After ten years, replace all your smoke alarms, as some may not work as well over time and you might be able to take advantage of newer technologies that are more reliable.
2. Run Fire Drills With Your Family
- Create an escape plan and practice it with your family. Show your family members, including your kids, how to exit a room in the event of a fire. Practice opening doors and windows.
- Designate a meeting place with enough distance from your home. Teach your kids that when the alarm goes off, everyone must act quickly to get out of the house safely and meet at the designated location.
3. Train Your Family How to Respond in a Fire
- Test any closed doors. If the smoke alarm goes off and your doors are closed, first check if the doorknob is hot. If you feel heat or see smoke, do not open the door. Close all doors as you leave each room to keep the fire from spreading.
- Crawl under the smoke. If you have to go through a smoky area to escape, crawl. Because smoke rises, there is less smoke close to the floor. Teach your kids how to crawl while still looking up to find the nearest exit.
- Don’t go back into the fire. Once you’re out, have someone call 911 right away to report the fire and tell the dispatcher if anyone is stuck inside. Firefighters are trained to rescue people and pets who may be trapped, so don’t go back into a burning home once you’re out.
- Stop, drop, and roll! Make sure your children and other family members know how to Stop, Drop, and Roll if their clothes catch on fire.
To be prepared in other emergency situations, read our blog about ICE cell phone programming and Emergency Situations: 4 Things to Teach Your Child.