Fires are very unpredictable. A small mistake can turn into a large fire that can burn down an entire building. Every property owner should take personal responsibility and prepare long before a fire threatens their home or business. Here is a list of important fire preparedness tips:
- A working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector must be installed in every bedroom, outside of every sleep area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Batteries should be changed at least once a year.
- All smoke alarms should be interconnected throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Alarms must be tested at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- All smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
- Residents must ensure that everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
- Every occupant of the home or building must know where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
- Two escape routes from each bedroom should be designated and practiced regularly.
- In case clothing catches on fire, occupants must know the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” technique.
- Old mattresses should not be stored in the home or garage.
- Children must be taught that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys. When suspecting that a child is playing with fire, the parents need to check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.
While it is crucial to be cautious of fire hazards year-round, taking the time to walk through these steps at least once a year might prove to be of vital importance. When a fire happens, there is no more time for planning. Action today can prevent a crisis tomorrow.