Check out our Fire Prevention Month - Home Safety Checklist. It is a great time to complete a home safety check using our checklist. If you are not discussing fire safety with your kids, this is a great time to start. We always use this as a time to change the batteries in all of our smoke detectors and alarms. It is also a great time to become a "Super Prepared Family" and talk about fire safety with your children and prepare your family’s escape plan and safety checklist in case of an emergency.
Each year nearly 3,000 American die from home fires. Many of these fatalities could be prevented with proper placement and maintenance of working smoke alarms, as well as prior emergency and escape planning. If you don't have an escape plan for your family right now is the time to create one. Become a superhero for your family and be like the "girls scouts" and say, "it is always better to be prepared". You don't want to find yourself in an emergency and not know how to handle the situation.
Check out our Fire Prevention Month - Home Safety Checklist
Ensure that you have properly functioning smoke alarms installed throughout your home. You need at least one on each level and in every bedroom, as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends. This is the first line of defense for fire prevention. Additionally, alarms must be regularly tested for proper alarm and battery functionality – and all alarms must be replaced at least every 10 years. I had no idea that you should replace fire alarms! We recently sold our home and had lived in it for 14 years. Which means our alarms were all in need of replacement? Wow! This is something that you need to be on top of for the protection of your family.
Often dubbed “the silent killer,” CO is a colorless and odorless gas that is impossible to detect without an alarm. Compounding the issue and concern is that CO poisoning is notoriously difficult to diagnose, often until it’s too late. The symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses including nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting. In more severe poisoning cases, people may experience disorientation or unconsciousness, or suffer long-term neurological disabilities, cardio-respiratory failure or death.
We just had a real-life CO scare at our house. At 5:30 am our CO alarm sounded letting us know we had a leak. Since it was late summer our heating system was not on. We had no idea what would have caused the leak, so we called our local fire department. They arrived and upon inspection were not sure why we had a leak. The local Natural Gas Company arrived minutes later and quickly discovered that our old golf cart battery had malfunctioned and overcharged the battery. This resulted in an build up of CO gasses in our lower garage bay which leaked into our house.
The reading was 136 parts per million and a safe reading is 29 parts per million or less! In the lower level bedroom the reading was 36 parts per million and at the top of the stairs it was 32 parts per million. It was really scary because we had NO IDEA our house had the leak. We were so thankful we had CO detectors in our home. They literally saved all of our lives. We are thankful and blessed for our CO detectors.
One important fact to know is that alarms do not last forever. Smoke alarms and newer carbon monoxide alarms last for 10-years. When alarms are due for replacement, upgrading your level of protection with devices containing 10 year sealed batteries, which offer tamper-proof, hassle-free protection while eliminating the need to replace batteries for the life of the alarms. This is a win for sure because it never fails the batteries always need replacing in the middle of the night 😉
When considering alarm replacement, it is important to consider each home’s specific needs to make sure the home is properly equipped throughout the home with both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. A variety of smoke alarms, including combination and 10-year battery powered models, are available to meet specific needs and local legislation requirements. If you have a golf cart please don't overlook your garage bay!
Items on a good safety checklist include testing alarm functionality, keeping track of expiration dates and replacing alarms as needed, ensuring alarms are installed on every level, and planning and practicing your family’s escape route. Other annual items such as professionally servicing the furnace and ensuring dryer vents are clean also should make the checklist. You also want to purchase 2-story escape ladders if you have a two story home and fire extinguishers. We have one in our kitchen under the sink, in our basement and both garage bays.
A critical component of fire safety is having, and practicing, an escape plan with your family. According to new research from First Alert, only 27 percent of families have included a meeting spot in their fire escape plans. When creating a plan with your family, make sure you can identify two ways out of each room – which can include windows and doors – and make sure everyone in the home understands the plan. This is something that older children can help create – it is fun to get the whole family involved! Please be sure that you are a Super Prepared Family when it comes to fire safety.
Alarms that you should consider so that you can be a "Super Prepared Family":
- The SA3210 is great overall protection because it has both types of smoke sensors recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- The P1010 is a nice addition to your home’s safety, ideal for the bedroom.
- The PRC710 provides both smoke and CO safety.
- The CO710 is a nice table-top addition, and can be easily added to any room.
For More Information on Fire Prevention:
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