National Safety Month: Fire prevention tips, saving time in an emergency, and more
Welcome to week 2 of National Safety Month! This week, we’re sharing sets of tips that have to do with general home safety.
Calling for help: It may seem like common sense to call 911 during an emergency, but did you know many people either have never called 911 before or wait too long to call for help?
- It is vitally important to understand that 911 should be called following an emergency and that failure to do so can delay response time. Also remember that depending on where you live, your 911 response time may be impacted for other reasons – therefore always be ready to call 911 and follow the directions from the 911 dispatchers.
- It is never too early to teach children how and when to call 911 for emergency assistance. When applicable, teach children home addresses and phone numbers.
- The most important tip when calling 911: Remain calm, speak clearly, and listen for direction.
Fire prevention: It is important to take proactive action to protect your home and family from fire.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home (including inside and outside sleeping areas). Smoke alarms should be tested every month and battery replacement/installation should follow manufacturer recommendations. Smoke alarms should be placed on the highest portion of a wall or the ceiling of a room.
- Fire extinguishers are good to have in the house but should only be used to put out small fires before they become too large. When purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home, be sure to purchase the right type. For example, certain types are best for the kitchen to put out grease fires. Fire extinguishers are best kept in areas where fire could start – including the kitchen and garage.
- According to the American Red Cross, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape a home from fire – therefore institute a fire escape plan with all members of the household and most importantly practice the plan at least twice per year. At a minimum, your plan should include how to get out of a second-floor window if the entrance to the room is blocked by fire or smoke and where your family should meet once out of danger.
- Lastly in the event of a fire, GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Other at home safety tips:
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm. Unlike some alarms, carbon monoxide alarms should be installed about 5 feet above the floor – this is because carbon monoxide is slightly light than air. Be sure not to place these alarms over a fireplace or other flame-producing appliances. Test these alarms monthly with your smoke alarms.
- Clean out your dryer vents routinely. Always follow manufacturer recommendations, however in general it is best to clean out the dryer vent after each load of laundry. Complete exhaust duct cleaning/inspections should occur regularly to prevent potentially flammable build-up.