I have talked a lot about the house fire that I have had in February 2013, as well as the importance of safety for all of your homes, too. This is why I am sharing five things that I am doing that I hope has prepared my family well during Fire Prevention Week, which is October 4-10, 2015.
Now, you might ask, “How are you practicing fire safety, Chris?”
With help from Kidde, I would have to say that there are five things that I am doing that I hope has prepared my family well. Let me tell you about each of them!
- Smoke Alarms – We have smoke alarms installed on every level of our home and near sleeping areas. We test these monthly and my kids know what the alarms sound like. We also just recently replaced all of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in our home with new Kidde 10-year battery alarms as we learned that you need to do this every 10 years and we were way off! If you still need to find smoke alarms for your home, or you don’t know which ones to get, check out this
- Fire Extinguisher – We have a fire extinguisher on every level of our house and the kids know where it is and how to use it. Hopefully we will never have to use it, but it is important that we have them and that we are ready. I also try and remember to check the gauge regularly to make sure that they continue to hold a full charge. When I was looking into the replacement of our smoke alarms, I also learned that fire extinguishers need to be replaced every 12 years, so make sure you have a date on them so you know when to replace them for your own family! If you do not know how to use a fire extinguisher, follow the following steps from Kidde:
Stand 5 feet away from the fire and follow the four-step PASS procedure recommended by the National Fire Protection Association:
- P – Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you.
- A – Aim low at the base of the fire.
- S – Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to discharge the extinguishing agent. (When the agent first hits the fire, the fire may briefly flare up. This should be expected.
- S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side, moving carefully toward the fire. Keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire.
- Fire Escape Plan – Before our house fire, we did not have a fire escape plan. That all changed after the fire. I realized quickly that our kids would not have known where to meet or where the alternate exits were, so it was important for J-Mom and I to sit down with the kids and walk them through our own family plan. We followed the great tips below when it came to the plan that we now have in our home and so can you!
- Practice regularly, both day and night.
- Know 2 ways out of every room.
- Know who will assist children and those with mobility/health issues.
- Use this grid to map out your escape plan route
- Escape Ladders – Do you have an in your home? I do! This was especially important for my oldest as her room is two stories up from the ground, and if she was boxed in, I want to know that she has another escape route that is safe.
- Take steps to make my home as fire safe as possible, and educate my family about the important fire safety actions.
- Check my smoke alarms and replace all units that are 10 or more years old. If I can’t recall their age, I’ll take the safe step to replace them with units that include long-life, sealed-in batteries.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of my home and in every room, including inside and outside of bedrooms, in hallways, and in living in kitchen areas.
- Test my smoke alarms weekly, and replace the batteries twice a year.
- Create and regularly practice a fire escape plan with my family.
My family has taken the pledge and yours can too! Sign up today!
Fire safety in your home starts with you, and as you can see there are many steps you can take that are easy to follow and easy to implement. Please take these steps to safeguard yourself and your family during Fire Prevention Week!
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