Did you know that half of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am, when most people are asleep? The main cause – not having a working smoke alarm installed in each bedroom.
National Fire Prevention Week this year is officially October 4th-10th, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Throughout the country, many schools have planned fun activities to teach children about fire safety and how to prevent fires from occurring. These activities will include meeting and talking with local firemen, climbing inside a fire truck, going into a smokehouse, or watching a puppet show. Our children are likely to come home very enthusiastic and remind us, their parents, about what we should be doing in our own homes to ensure fire safety, such as regularly checking and replacing our smoke alarm batteries or reviewing your family’s home evacuation plan. More than ever, this is an important time to pay close attention to our children. By doing so it could very well save a life and also prevent a possible premise liability claim. This year’s “Hear The Beep Where You Sleep” campaign is designed to make homeowners realize that every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm. Just imagine if a fire emergency were to occur and your child had invited a friend for a sleepover. It’s a cold fall night and you place a space heater just a little too close to a curtain in your bedroom. Everyone falls asleep and the curtain catches fire in the middle of the night. If it did and your house isn’t equipped with a smoke alarm in each bedroom, this bad situation can quickly escalate into a deadly situation. You as the homeowner would be liable if an injury or death were to occur due to your negligence.
Here are some important fire safety tips you can use as a guide to preventing a situation like this from happening:
- Check Your Smoke Alarms. If they are installed in your home, be sure to replace conventional batteries annually. Working smoke alarms are a critical first step for staying safe and becoming aware of a potential fire hazard. Studies have shown that they can reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent.
- Create And Practice A Fire Escape Plan. Teach your children to “get low and go” if there is smoke in the house. They need to feel doors, doorknobs, and door cracks with the back of their hand to see if they are hot to make sure they are safe before opening. Choose a place outside as a meeting place, a safe distance away from your home, so they know where to head once they are out of your home.
- If There’s A Fire, Leave Your Home Immediately. Once safely outside, call 911. It is very important to teach your children to abide by the rule “Once Out, Stay Out”. Never go back into your home to retrieve personal items!
- Teach Your Children To NEVER Play With Matches Or Lighters. Place these items out of harm’s way so they are not easily accessible.
- Keep Candles A Safe Distance From Anything That Can Burn. Don’t let your teens keep candles in their bedrooms, and always make sure to blow out decorative candles when you leave a room or go to bed.
- Avoid Plugging In Too Many Appliance Cords into the same outlet or extension cord.
- Be Sure To Have A Working Fire Extinguisher in the kitchen and teach everyone in the house how to correctly use it.
- Keep Space Heaters Away From Anything That Can Burn and always remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
- Don’t Allow Yourself To Become Distracted While Cooking In The Kitchen. NEVER leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.
It is a common fact that home fires can start and spread quickly, which is why we all need to diligently practice fire safety and prevention. Educating our children and having a fire safety plan for your family can make all the difference in saving a life!
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