Whether it’s caused by a careless smoker, candles left burning, the furnace, electrical problems, your chimney or fireplace, the fact is that each year household fires take the lives of more than 2,500 people and cause millions of dollars in damage. While recent awareness of fire safety techniques has saved a great number of lives, home fires are often preventable and more than likely survivable if a few simple safety precautions are taken.
When it comes to household fires, smoke detectors and fire alarms are by far the best way to save the lives of you and your family. More than 60% of fire deaths occur in homes where there was no working smoke detector. Important things to keep in mind about your smoke detectors is to make sure they are installed in every bedroom, outside of sleeping areas and on each floor of your house including the basement. It is vital to test your alarms on a monthly basis by pressing the test button. Replace the battery if it doesn’t work and replace the entire alarm if a new battery doesn’t help. A great habit is to replace the battery once a year whether or not you think the battery is low. Do it on a day you’ll remember, like your birthday. Home smoke detectors don’t last forever, though many people have probably had the same ones for many years. Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years. Many of the new devices have built-in longer life batteries that can last for up to ten years. And finally, please never disconnect your smoke detector if your cooking has set it off. Far too often, people forget to reset them. Open your windows run a fan to blow out the smoke, and never disable your smoke detector.
While fire extinguishers may be appropriate for a small fire on the stovetop or in a garbage can, when a fire does break out in your home, you may have very little time to get out before becoming overcome by smoke. Every second counts so it’s important that your family has a well-practiced escape plan that every family member is aware of. You all need to know where to go and where to meet up once you’re outside of the house. Nearly half of all homeowners have never discussed a fire escape plan with their family. Making a plan should include every member of your family having at least one or two options for escaping from any room in the house including doors and windows. Practice your escape plan on a regular basis; the kids will enjoy it and the practice will pay off if it ever has to kick in for real.
While the most important thing you need everyone to do, is to get out fast, if there is time to close doors in the house, that helps fire from spreading by cutting off air supply. Also, if you do use fire extinguishers, make sure you have one on each floor of your house and always one near the kitchen, and don’t be a hero. If you can’t put out a fire in the first few seconds, get out of the house. If you’re in need of a legal consultation, call The Law Offices of Daniel J. Harris, P.C. today at 231.347.4444 or fill out the free consultation form in the sidebar to schedule your free personal consultation.