|Only you can prevent fires.|
Home or wild.
Remember when the firemen came to talk to your class in kindergarten? Learning stop, drop, and roll? Watching Smokey the Bear ads on TV? If you’re like me, that was probably the last time you thought about fire safety.
Thankfully, there is a whole week devoted to Fire Prevention, and it’s here!
While the wildfires in Colorado, California and even the plant explosion in West, Texas this summer may seem like they are a world away, home fires occur regularly in North Texas. In fact, the majority of Red Cross Disaster Relief responses are to fires. And while the Red Cross is always there to support you in such an emergency, we hope remembering and following these three tips will mean you’ll never need our help.
SMOKE DETECTOROne of my least favorite sounds—besides my alarm going off at 6AM—is the incessant chirp of a smoke detector that needs new batteries. But it’s annoying for a reason! You either go crazy listening to the high pitched B E E P....B E E P...B E E P or you go check it out and make sure it’s working.
Taking the time to make sure your smoke detector is functioning properly is a small sacrifice when you consider the money and trouble it can save you by alerting you to a fire.
Fact: Almost two-thirds of home fire fatalities result from lack of a functioning smoke alarm.
Did you know? Some fire departments offer reduced price or sometimes free smoke detectors, and they may even install it for you.
ESCAPE PLANIt’s important for you and everyone that lives with you to know how to get out in case of a fire. It may seem silly to go so far as to plan an escape from your own house, but in a real emergency, having a plan you can easily recall will be helpful when panic sets in.
Planning an escape route is especially important for families with small kids, elderly family members, or relatives with disabilities. Make sure everyone knows where every door and window are located and make sure there are at least two escapes from every room.
DRILLSAn escape plan is useless if you never practice it. In an emergency, you may panic, so its helpful if your mind and body have already gone through the process of escaping. Make sure you practice your plan at least twice a year and both in the day and at night.
If you have pets, make sure to include them in the plan and drills by having leashes ready and practicing taking them out of the house. For more information on pet preparedness, visit the Red Cross page.
In a real fire, NEVER go back into a burning building for anything. Alert firefighters of any pets or people trapped inside, and they will conduct the rescue.
Celebrate Fire Prevention Week all year round by making your home fire safe and preparing your family for an emergency.