We’re so glad Fire Prevention Week occurs every October because it provides a perfect opportunity for all of us to review our household fire safety measures and make sure nothing is overlooked. Here are a few items to include on your checklist:
House Number – Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street so in case of an emergency firefighters can easily locate you. Reflective numbers are best.
Fire Hydrants – Periodically check your nearest hydrant to make sure it is clear of weeds and clear of snow during the winter months.
Smoke Detectors – Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your home and test monthly. We know you’ve heard this before but, let’s face it, we too often hear of fires resulting in injury or even death because a home did not have smoke detectors or had detectors which were damaged or had old batteries. Speaking of those batteries – change them twice a year when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Install carbon monoxide detectors outside bedrooms and outside the furnace room. As with smoke detectors, test monthly and change the batteries twice a year.
Fire Extinguisher – Do you have one? You should have at least two and make sure one is in the kitchen. Train all household members, including children, on how to use it.
Two Ways Out – The golden rule of escape is knowing two ways out of every room in your home. Make sure everyone knows “Two Ways Out” and conduct periodic drills to practice escape routes to use during an emergency. Also, designate a meeting place outside the home so everyone can be accounted for.
Special Needs – Inform your local fire department if your household has any members with special needs that might hinder escape; for example bedridden, requires a wheelchair, uses oxygen, etc…If you have pets, place “Animal in Home” stickers on all doors. You can get them from the ASPCA or local animal shelters.
When out and about, be alert to emergency vehicles responding to a call. Pull over to the right to let emergency vehicles pass. Also, be aware that a blue light in a vehicle means the person driving is responding to an emergency call. Extend them courtesy on the road.