Fire Safety Begins With You: How To Protect Your Family From Fires

You never know when a fire is going to happen. When it does, you want your family to be prepared. Studies show that about seven people die in house fires every day in the United States. Many of those fires could have been prevented with proper safety procedures and monitoring. If your home is not properly protected against fire hazards, your family is at risk. Here are four safety measures you can take to prevent fire-related disasters:

Install Monitoring Devices

If you don't have the proper fire alarm monitoring devices installed in your home, you need to take care of that immediately. If your home doesn't have hard-wired smoke detectors installed, you should purchase battery-operated devices. For best protection, you should have one smoke detector in each bedroom, as well as one in the living room, family room, and main hallway. Your detectors should include both ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms. Ionization alarms detect open flames, while photoelectric alarms detect active smoke. It's also important that you have at least two fire extinguishers in your home at all times; one at each end of your home.

Press to Test

It's not enough to simply have monitoring devices installed in your home. You need to make sure they're working too. The best way to do that is with the press to test method. Arrange with your family to designate one day a month as "press to test" day. On that day, each month, press the test button on each device. This will ensure that your alarms are in proper working order. It's also important that you change the batteries on a regular basis. The best way to do that is to change them with the seasons. By changing them with the seasons, you'll know that your batteries are being changed once every three months.

Plan and Practice Fire Drills

In the event of a fire, your family needs to know how to escape quickly and safely. To ensure that your family knows what to do should a fire break out, you should practice monthly fire drills. Press the alarm to designate the start of the drill. Each family member should know how to escape the fire and get to the designated meeting place. If you have a multi-story home, don't forget to install safety ladders in each upstairs room. This will ensure that family members on the upper levels will be able to escape safely should a fire erupt.

Stress Safety Rules

In addition to the steps described above, it's also important that you stress safety rules. These safety rules will help prevent fires and keep your family members safe. Fire rules should include unplugging portable electrical devices before leaving them home, turning the stove off when not in the kitchen, and never leaving matches or lighters out where small children can reach them. If anyone in your home smokes, be sure that they never smoke in bed.