Stay safe while you stay warm
Cooler weather and shorter days are the perfect excuse to build fires in the fireplace and light pumpkin-scented candles to make your room cozy and warm. And that’s precisely why it’s a good idea to review fire safety in your home this October during Fire Prevention Month.
An American Red Cross poll reveals that many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a fire, believing they have 5 or even 10 minutes to evacuate their home. But, in fact, fire experts agree that most people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. That’s a sobering fact, particularly since 82 percent of American families have not practiced home fire drills, and 52 percent of parents with children ages 3 – 17 have not talked to them about fire safety.
We need to change those statistics! This month, take two simple steps that could save your life: check or install smoke alarms on every floor of your home inside bedrooms and sleeping areas, and practice fire drills at home with every member of your family at least twice a year.
Check out this customizable home fire escape plan that you can share with everyone in your house. You should also ensure that every member of your family knows:
- Two ways to escape from each room in your home.
- Exactly where to meet once you’re all safely outside.
- That you need to be able to get out within two minutes (so make sure your fire drills are timed).
- If your clothing catches fire stop, drop, and roll to put it out.
- Smoke is dangerous so you may need to crawl to get out of your home (practice that skill during your drills).
Of course fire prevention is the best way to keep your family safe and sound. The Red Cross offers the following tips to help prevent house fires:
- “Keep an eye on what you fry.” Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or using an open flame.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Make sure candles are extinguished when you leave a room.
- Keep matches and lighters locked away so children can’t play with them.
- Keep furniture, curtains, dish towels and anything that could catch fire at least three feet from any type of heat source.
- Change your smoke alarm batteries every year unless it has a long-life battery.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Test your smoke alarms each month.
412847H CAN/US (10/15)