Thursday, October 6, 2011

October is Fire Safety and Prevention Month!

October is Fire Safety Month and the Red Cross encourages the people to take steps to lessen the risk of a fire in their home. It’s important to take simple steps now to protect you home and family. Every second counts during a fire and being prepared can greatly reduce the effects of these devastating disasters. The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.

Fire escape plans should include at least two escape routes from every room in the home and a convenient meeting place at a safe distance from the home. Practice the escape plan at least twice a year and revise as necessary. Families are encouraged to pay particular attention to developing and regularly practicing escape plans for children and older adults.

Additional recommendations include:

· Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.

· Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

· Keep matches and lighters away from and out of reach of children.

· Don’t leave the kitchen, and don’t leave the home while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food.

· Once you are out of the house during a fire, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor’s home.

A fire can grow from first spark to full blaze in just three minutes, leaving families little time to escape. During Fire Safety Month this October, take time to prepare for a home fire by developing an emergency escape plan and practicing fire safety with your family.