It’s that time of year again! Last weekend we changed our clocks to “fall back” to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time. Take this opportunity to prepare your home for fire emergencies and change the smoke alarm battery. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, most alarms need a new battery at least once a year.
Did you know?
- If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, you should replace it with a new alarm and a new battery
- 60% of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms
- No smoke alarms were present in 37% of the home fire deaths
Brrr. Turn on the heater!
With colder temperatures (and we hope rain) on the way, you may want to review heating safety techniques with your family and create a fire escape plan. Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening. These steps include:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as a furnace, fireplace, or portable heater
- Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected yearly by a qualified professional
Fire Escape Plan
Making a fire escape plan and practicing a fire escape drill are important elements of home fire safety. Start planning today! This toolkit from the National Fire Protection Agency provides some guidelines and a grid to draw your home and teach your children the plan. For more resources visit NFPA.
Remember that your smoke alarm is designed to give you enough time to get OUT of your home. When building a plan, you should include:
- Two exits from every room in the home (usually a door and a window)
- A meeting place outside in front of the home where everyone will meet immediately upon exiting
- Never go back in once you are out
- Your plan should be practiced with your family
Learn more about preparing your family for an emergency at www.readymarin.org/plan-prepare.