No one wants to believe they will ever be faced with a fire in their home, but the reality is that fires do happen, and it is best to be prepared. With a little preparation and practice your family will have a much greater chance of surviving a fire.
The following tips will help you prepare your home and family in case of a fire:
- Install smoke detectors in your home. Check the batteries at least twice a year. Try to pick a significant date, such as New Years Day, to replace the batteries. If you hear a chirping sound coming from your smoke detector it is time to replace the battery.
- Do not use candles around children, pets or flammable objects such as curtains. Never leave a candle unattended or near an open window.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Teach all the family members how to use it.
- If you have second floor bedrooms have an escape ladder. Make sure there are two ways out of every room.
- Place matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Remember that children may use a stool or other object to reach up high. It is best if you can keep them locked up or not have them in your house.
- Make sure all windows can be opened and are big enough for an adult to fit through.
- Never smoke in bed or fall asleep smoking while sitting on a piece of furniture.
- Use the back burner on the stove whenever possible. Always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
- Roll up your sleeves while cooking to avoid catching your sleeves on fire.
- Close bedroom doors to keep deadly heat and smoke out of the bedrooms.
- Have fire drills with all of your family members. Let them hear what the smoke detectors sound like.
- Explain to your children that if they hear the smoke detectors they need to leave immediately. Tell them not to hide and they shouldn’t stop to find toys, pets, etc.
- Draw a map of all the rooms in your house along with your escape routes.
- Have everyone agree on a meeting place outside of your house. Practice meeting at this place during the fire drills.
- Teach children how to feel doors to see if they are hot. Tell them not to open the door if it is hot.
- Teach the children how to stop, drop and roll if they catch fire. Have the children practice these steps.
By following these tips, and taking just a moment to practice, you may be saving your own life, and the lives of your children.