Protect Your Family By Practicing Fire Safety

As we turn back the clocks this week, we traditionally focus on fire prevention and fire safety. Don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detector.  Do you know the top five causes of fire? They are cooking accidents, heating such as improper use of a fireplace, electrical as in a frayed electrical extension cord or overloading of a circuit, smoking, and the careless use of those beautiful candles we use during this blessed season. Let us all celebrate this holiday season fire free!

We have all heard that smoke alarms save lives. The truth is that smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads quickly, and you need smoke alarms to give yourself and others time to get to safety.

 According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 1,450 fire deaths occur every year in homes with missing or non-functioning Smoke Alarms! The death rate in home fires is more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms. 

With those reported figures, how can one not have their loved ones protected with smoke alarms? This writer last week purchased three new ten-year battery life smoke alarms for $21.00 per unit at a local retailer. One needs to be inside the bedroom and one on the other side of the bedroom door.  

Let us go one step further at no cost in protecting our families. The establishment of a home fire escape plan is vital. Make sure you practice your studied plan with the entire family. You might be surprised that some people may not move to the best escape route during your planning and practice exercises. Also, do you have a “rope ladder” for any second-floor windows? Do you have a basement escape window with a ladder in the window well? What about fire extinguishers throughout your home?

And lastly, as we think about home fire safety, those families planning to build a new home might wish to consider incorporating a fire sprinkler system. Why? According to NFPA, 1. Eighty percent of all civilian fire deaths occur in homes. 2. When sprinklers are present, fires are kept to the room of origin 97% of the time. 3. Sprinklers use 90% less water on a fire than fire department hose lines. 4. If you have a fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 85% when sprinklers are present. And do not believe what you see in the movies about all the sprinklers going off in a fire. Only the sprinkler(s) above the fire release water.

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