According to the United States Fire Administration, more than 3,500 Americans die in fires each year, with another 18,300 sustaining injuries as the result of a fire. Because the majority of these fires occur in the home, it’s of vital importance that every family has a fire evacuation plan in place. While no homeowner wants to consider the possibility of losing everything they’ve worked so hard to acquire, ensuring that you and your children are armed with the information you need to survive a house fire could mean the difference between an unfortunate event and a truly tragic one.
Making sure that you have taken the proper precautionary measures as a matter of routine maintenance can make a huge difference in situations where every moment matters. Making sure that your home is stocked with the proper equipment is the first step to planning your evacuation route and fire safety plan.
- Smoke Alarms –Your home should be equipped with smoke alarms on every floor and outside of every bedroom to ensure that each member of the family can hear the alarm clearly enough to awaken from a sound sleep, should it go off. The batteries in your smoke alarms should be changed when you reset your clocks for daylight savings time, or more frequently if they begin to emit the chirping noise that indicates low battery power.
- Fire Extinguishers – You should place a fire extinguisher on every floor, including one in the kitchen where cooking fires can quickly get out of control. Upstairs extinguishers should be kept in central locations for ease of access. As an extra precaution, keeping a fire extinguisher near any sources of heat, such as a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit, is wise.
- Emergency Escape Ladders – Houses with more than one level and bedrooms on upper floors should be equipped with an emergency escape ladder in each of those bedrooms. Children should be instructed on the proper use of such ladders when they’re old enough to manage them without assistance.
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