How prepared are you and your family if a fire were to happen at your house? Would you have working fire detectors to detect the fire? Do you have fire extinguishers throughout your home? Do you have a safety escape plan if you are in your bedroom sleeping when a fire breaks out? Every home should be prepared for a fire with essential fire equipment and an emergency escape plan.
Every home should have a working smoke detector. Did you know that the chances of dying during a fire are cut completely in half when you have a working smoke detector? You should have enough smoke detectors in your home so that everyone is alerted and protected from a fire, and all the smoke detectors should be working properly. There are photoelectric smoke detectors that will not go off just from cooking in the kitchen or from the steam off of a shower. There are buttons on the smoke detectors to mute the sound in case of a false alarm or so that you can test the detector which should be done monthly. If the battery goes bad or runs low, you can easily replace it without having to take down the entire smoke alarm system from the ceiling. Smoke detectors have very loud alarms that people can hear even during their sleep. Most smoke detectors come with a warranty, and they need replacing every 10 years. If you sleep with bedroom doors open, the detectors should be placed outside of the bedroom. If you sleep with the bedroom door closed, the detectors should be inside the bedroom. Smoke detectors should never be placed in attics, crawl spaces, bathrooms, kitchens or garages.
It is always a wise idea to have a fire extinguisher in your home in case of a fire. These are very effective against common house fires such as electrical equipment fires, wood fires, fabric, and paper fires. You can have a fire extinguisher refilled after it is used. Fire extinguishers have easy-to-read gauges and they are color coded so that the measurements are accurate. They come with brackets so that they can be secured to the walls, and all fire extinguishers come with instructions. Since most house fires occur between 8 pm and 8 am, fire extinguishers should be stored in the bedroom or bedroom closets as well as along escape routes in the house.
Having a carbon monoxide alarm in the home is essential as well. These alarms detect high levels of carbon monoxide inside your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that is deadly at high concentrations. When the system detects a high level of carbon monoxide in the home, the alarm will trip and give you time to get out of the home and ventilate the area. A build-up of carbon monoxide can occur due to space heaters, furnaces, a car running inside your garage and blocked chimneys. These detectors should be placed outside of the bedrooms in the home and checked frequently to ensure that they are working.
Having a fire escape plan is important for everyone in the family. If a fire breaks out, you will not have time to think, and having a fire escape plan will save lives. Draw a floor plan of your home that shows all the rooms inside of the house. Identify at least two exits from every room in the house. For example, with a bedroom you can use the bedroom door or the bedroom window if one or the other is blocked from fire. You might find that you need to purchase some chain ladders for higher bedroom windows to have a safe escape route. Go over your escape plan with the family, and make sure all your exits are clear at all times. When you have your plan in place, practice it consistently with the family so that everyone knows how to get out should a fire strike the home.