Did you know a home fire is reported every 86 seconds per the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2015 Fires in the U.S. statistics? No one ever expects to have their home catch fire, but it’s not uncommon. This startling statistic reminds people that having a fire plan for your home and family is so important. Education about limiting fires and fire damage is the focus of Fire Prevention Week each year. This year’s theme “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” highlights the importance of having a plan and acting quickly in a fire.
Being prepared for a potential fire starts with smoke detectors. If a fire starts, you want to be notified as quickly as possible so having smoke detectors installed is very important. If you want to be even more aware of potential fires in your home, a monitored smoke detection system might be the best option. This gives you the option to be notified through text notifications if your smoke detector goes off. It also notifies a monitoring center who can then notify your local fire department so they can respond. So, whether you’re asleep or away from home, toxic smoke levels that indicate a fire in your home can still be caught quickly.
If you are at home during a fire, you are going to want to escape quickly as fires escalate in seconds. Start by drawing a map and noting the exit options from each room. It’s important to “Plan 2 Ways Out” because one way might be blocked by fire. The NFPA recommends that you practice using this exit strategy twice a year. One time could be in October during Fire Prevention Week! As you’re practicing exiting, remind all family members to close doors behind themselves as possible, because it can help slow down a fire.
Kids in your home should know how to exit on their own as soon as they are old enough since you may not be able to get to them in a fire. Teach them where the whole family can meet outside and remind them once they get to the meeting spot, not to leave unless they are in danger.
Fire prevention also comes down to practicing practical fire safety in your everyday life. These tips vary depending on the season but they’re typically common sense. Most home fires are caused by cooking equipment and heating equipment according to the NFPA’s 2016 Home Structure Fires Report. You can find seasonal fire safety tips on the Home Matters Blog including fall fire safety tips.
Guardian offers a fire safety pamphlet that’s viewable and includes a guide for making an escape plan. The NFPA offers great resources including a grid for drawing a map of your home, video resources, lesson guides and a coloring sheet!
Fires are very dangerous but it doesn’t have to be hard to take some preventative measures! Fire Prevention Week is a great time to take some steps for a safer family!