Home fires are the most common disaster according to the American Red Cross. Help to protect your home and you family by following the steps below.
- Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
- If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas too.
- Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
- Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
- Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
- Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department on how to use them.
- Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
Plan Your Escape Routes
- Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
- Select a location outside your home where everyone should meet after evacuating such as a specific location in a neighbor’s yard.
- Practice your escape plan at least twich a year.
- Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor’s home.
- If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
- If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
- If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.
- Source: American Red Cross