Home Fire Safety
Fire safety is something families often think about. They may know that nearly two million homes are destroyed by fire each year but they may think it can’t or won’t happen to them. Rather than taking a chance with your family’s lives, here are some fire safety products every home should have to give their family a fighting chance to survive a home fire.
At the absolute minimum, homes should have a working smoke alarm on every floor of their home. You may also want to place a smoke alarm directly outside bedrooms. If these are all located together you can get by with having one smoke alarm rather than one for each bedroom. Place a fire alarm in the kitchen and near the furnace or heating unit of your home. Obviously the more smoke alarms you have, the better your chance of hearing them, so consider where they are needed carefully.
Many people think once they’ve installed smoke detectors, everything is ready to alert them of a fire in their home. This is true to a degree. Smoke detectors do require maintenance, however. Change the batteries at least once a year. Some experts recommend changing them whenever daylight savings time changes. It’s also important to keep them free of dust which can hamper their ability to detect smoke. Test them periodically to ensure they are working properly.
Unlike smoke from a fire, carbon monoxide is not easily detectable because it is odorless, colorless and tasteless. That’s why carbon monoxide detectors are important to have. These will also be placed on each floor of your home and outside bedrooms. Carbon monoxide is often associated with faulty gas appliances or heaters.
Fire extinguishers should be placed in the rooms most likely to have fires: kitchen, garage, bedroom or living room. Read the fire extinguisher instructions long before you need it to know which type of fire it can be used for. One placed in a kitchen, for instance, can put out most fires but they should never be used on electronics. For that type of fire you’d use a carbon dioxide extinguisher.
One thing you may not think about when it comes to fire safety is the possibility of having to escape from a second floor room. Obviously not all homes have two stories but for those that do it may be necessary for someone to escape from a window. Having an escape ladder in each room will make leaving from a window much safer.
No one wants to experience the devastation of a home fire. Purchasing and installing these fire safety products every home should have won’t guarantee you’ll never have a fire but they will increase your chances of living through one. Remember to test the safety equipment regularly to ensure they are working properly.