Preparing Your Home During Fire Safety Month

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October is Fire Safety Month. Is your house up to date and current with safety products to keep your family safe?  We currently live in an apartment and while we have smoke detectors, in my opinion, they weren’t in the right places.  Amazingly, we didn’t have one near the kitchen!  Guess what we added?  There were also no fire extinguishers provided as well.  We’ve got one in the kitchen and one in the laundry room.  We are covered thanks to Home Depot.

Household fires are all too common, with a fire department responding to one every 24 seconds on average, according to The National Fire Protection Association.  October is National Fire Prevention Month, so now is the time to protect the home against fire safety hazards.

Learning about the newest smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how to operate a fire extinguisher can help keep your home safe from fires. There are three fire safety must-dos to help protect your home.

STEP ONE: Test & Upgrade Alarms

  • According to The National Fire Protection Association, two thirds of residential fire fatalities result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.
  • Take 10 minutes to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning at least twice a year. If batteries need to be replaced, use the long-lasting Duracell Quantum batteries. These advanced alkaline batteries have an exclusive PowerCheck feature that allows you to verify the power level at any time.
  • Install wall-mounted alarms no more than 12 inches away from the ceiling to provide the earliest warning possible, and always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  • Some alarms are built with custom functionality for the different rooms in your home:
    • Kitchen: Kidde Worry Free 10-Year Sealed Lithium Battery Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Combination Alarm with Voice Warning distinguishes between cooking and fire smoke to detect real fires faster and reduce false alarms from cooking. It’s also powered by lithium-ion batteries that can last for 10 years to minimize maintenance.
    • Hallways: Kidde 10 Year Smoke Alarm with LED Escape Light helps your family exit quickly with bright LEDs that provide a lighted escape when the alarm sounds.
    • Bedrooms: The Kidde Twin Pack Worry Free 10 Year Combination Alarm with Voice is perfect for bedrooms – voice alarms are more effective in waking up heavy sleepers, especially children who may sleep through the siren but will wake up to a voice. Another good option for bedrooms is the Code One Ionization Smoke Alarms. Not only does the two-value pack have a loud sound, but it’s also automatic and easy to install.
  • Place the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector in any room to keep your home safe while you’re away. The Nest Protect connects to your phone and notifies you if there is a fire, carbon monoxide threat or low battery. The advanced technology in the unit easily detects the location and cause of the problem, and it protects the home for up to 10 years.

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STEP TWO: Get Educated On Extinguishers

    • Fireextinguishers effectively put out 80 percent of all fires according to a study, so make sure you have at least one on every level. Here are a few that you can have in specific areas in the home.
      • Kitchen: Kitchen fires are unique because of the oil and grease used in cooking, choose an extinguisher designed for cooking related fires like the Kidde UL 711A Kitchen Fire Extinguisher.

Garage: Flammable chemicals are likely stored in the garage, so choose an extinguisher with a higher capacity to combat combustible materials such as the Kidde 5 B:C Fire Extinguisher.

Living Area: The Kidde 1-A:10-B:C Fire Extinguisher can be used on most household fires, including trash, wood, paper, liquid, gas and electrical equipment fires.

  • When using a fireextinguisher, use the P.A.S.S. technique as described by the National Fire Protection Association:
    • PULL the pin.
    • AIM low and point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
    • SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
    • SWEEP from side to side at the base of the fire until it’s out.

STEP THREE: Prepare An Escape Plan

  • According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it’s important to make a plan, so everyone in your house knows the best escape routes. Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor’s house, mailbox, or stop sign) a safedistance in front of your home where everyone will know to meet.
  • After making your home fireescape plan, practice it at least twice a year and make the drill as realistic as possible by aiming to get out in 5 minutes or less.
  • If you have a multilevel property, have the KiddeFire Escape Ladder handy to drop out the window and create an emergency exit. The ladder requires no assembly and the tangle-free design allows you to get out of the house fast and easy.

Here are a few great sites for further information on Fire Safety:

Defend your Home From House Fires – Informative Article by Home Depot

Fire Safety Products to Protect Your Home