Fire safety is such an important topic for families everywhere. Because of this, I jumped at the chance to partner with First Alert, as a member of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network, to bring you this sponsored post and talk to you about fire safety tips.
Fire Safety Tips for Families
A house fire. While it’s something that everyone has thought about, it becomes that much more important the moment you are charged with the responsibility of caring for a child.
Each year nearly 3,000 Americans die from home fires.
I saw the utter devastation one Texas family was left with when they lost a son in a fire. I looked at the house. It was hard to imagine a loss so tragic.
Over the years, I’ve known several firemen. I would hear them talk here and there about fire safety and I listened intently. As a mom, I wanted to learn all I could.
October – Fire Prevention Month
It’s time for all of us to make this a priority, and now is as good a time as any, as it’s Fire Prevention Month.
Every Spring and Fall, my family has always automatically changed the batteries in our smoke alarms, but I want to start a new tradition. Each Spring and Fall, I want to talk to my family, share fire safety tips, and go over a safety checklist. I challenge you to do the same.
All Smoke Alarms MUST be replaced every 10 years.
Smoke alarms do not last forever.
Let that sink in.
Take inventory right this second. Do you own your own home? How long have you lived there?
Did you just gulp? I did. This mama had no clue. I thought I was doing exactly what I needed to do if I replaced the batteries twice per year. I wrongly assumed that a smoke alarm wasn’t something that could expire. After all, it wasn’t food.
Now, how long have you lived in your home? If you are like many Americans, you might not be the original owner of the house. Unless you know differently, don’t count on the fact that the smoke alarms were replaced by the previous owner. Ask yourself how old is the house. What year was your house built?
I’ve got your attention, don’t I?
Ensuring properly functioning smoke alarms are installed throughout the home is vital. It’s the first line of defense for fire prevention.
- Make sure smoke alarms have not expired (there is no date on it, but it must be replaced every 10 years
- Make sure there is one on each level and in every bedroom, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
- Regularly test each smoke alarm
- Regularly replace batteries (if it is one that requires) or test battery functionality
But it’s not just smoke alarms that need to be replaced.
All Carbon Monoxide Alarms Must Be Replaced Every 10 Years.
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.
Make sure that you don’t just have smoke alarms in your home, but carbon monoxide alarms too. Newer carbon monoxide alarms last for 10-years.
Upgrade to Alarms with 10-year Sealed Batteries
I had no idea they made alarms that don’t require battery changing. This is one fire safety tip that I believe will save lives. I often wonder how many people don’t remember to change their batteries (or test them).
Fact: 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms!
We tend to upgrade our phones, our televisions, and our furniture. BUT…have you ever thought about upgrading your fire safety technology?
When alarms are due for replacement, consider upgrading your level of protection with devices containing 10-year sealed batteries. These can offer tamper-proof, hassle-free protection and best of all, you don’t need to remember to change the batteries out.
A variety of smoke alarms, including combination and 10-year battery powered models, are available. You might have specific needs or local requirements by law and you can count on First Alert to help you navigate your solutions.
- 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.
I had no idea there were table-top options. Did you? You can find a large selection of First Alert products online or in stores at places like Amazon, Target, Home Depot, Walmart, and so many others.
Avoid or Remove Possible Fire Hazards
There are so many things you can do to remove potential fire hazards in your home, especially important with small children in the home. From candles to matches, make sure items are put up and safely tucked away from children.
Have your furnace professionally serviced to check for possible issues.
Ensure that dryer vents are clean. This is an important one that people often ignore or don’t realize. I had a dryer vent that went up into the attic. My father quickly changed that for me, knowing it was more of a fire hazard than it needed to be, especially since the dryer backed up to the garage. A quick cut through the wall was made, and using the right tools and tubing (if that’s the right word), the vent no longer went up and out of the house, but quickly outside just a foot away. Fire hazard reduced. Contact a professional for help.
TIP: Something to think about with children, especially babies or young children, is the location of the laundry room. I’ve learned that dryer fires are common. Where is your laundry room?
Is your laundry room near the children’s bedroom? Be mindful of when you run the dryer…don’t use it while you or they are sleeping. When buying a home, look for a laundry room that is on an outside wall. Look for a laundry room that isn’t located between your bedroom and your child’s…in case of fire. Location is key.
Add Approved Fire Extinguishers to your Home
We have one near the kitchen area for quick kitchen fires. We also decided years ago to add one to our master closet. Why? If the doorway to our bedroom was blocked by fire, we wanted a way to exit through the door if possible. Adding an extinguisher was the only way to make that happen, especially if we needed to help other family members escape.
Consider too, adding one to every floor in your home.
Create a Family Fire Escape Plan
It’s not enough for the grownups to be prepared. It’s vital to involve the entire family. Kids must learn fire safety, and make it specific to your home.
Create a family fire escape plan. Talk to the kids about it. When sharing, make sure they understand how to get out of the house without you there. Prepare for all scenarios.
This is something we have done with our daughter, though it’s scary to think about. We remind her not to come find us if she is in her room and can escape. That is especially hard for children, even older ones, to understand, but so crucial.
Do you have a family meeting spot?
According to new research from First Alert, only 27 percent of families have included a meeting spot in their fire escape plans. We do. Every family member is to head there in case of fire.
Make sure you can identify two ways out of each room – which can include windows and doors. This is something that older children can help create – it is fun to get the whole family involved and makes them feel valued too.
Now let’s review and Audrey Safety will help…
Be sure to visit First Alert to learn more about fire prevention, find fun learning printables for the kids, and look at all the product options available to upgrade or replace our fire prevention technology.
What will you do during this Fire Prevention Month?
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