This Sunday, don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead! And while you’re walking around the house it’s also a great time to remember to do a few other things, like check your home’s fire safety equipment. Do all your smoke alarms have fresh batteries? Are your fire extinguishers past their expiration date? Here are a couple of helpful reminders, so you can be sure your home and family are prepared in the event of a fire.
1. Go around the house and test and replace the batteries in your smoke alarms. There should be smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. You should also have smoke alarms installed inside and outside of sleeping areas, the kitchen, laundry room and main living area of the home. It may seem extreme but if the worst should happen you want as much notice as possible for you and your family to get out of the house.
2. Did you know that your fire extinguisher may have an expiration date? Or that what type of fire extinguisher you need is dependent on the type of fire that is likely to occur in that part of the house? Fire extinguishers should be easily accessed on every level of you home as well as in the kitchen, basement and garage. To learn more about the different types of fire extinguisher visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/extinguishers.shtm
3. Practice your escape plan with your kids. Should the worst happen you want your kids to be well versed in what to do to get out of the house. Practice crawling to safety in the dark. You could even have them help you create a map that shows how to get out of the house.
4. Don’t forget about your Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Make sure to test and replace the batteries in these when walking around the house. It is recommended that Carbon Monoxide Detectors be located on all levels of the home including main living areas, near or in sleeping areas and the top of the basement stairs.
5. Last but not least…Keep it safe! Should the worst happen you want your family to focus on getting out to safety, not running back to get things. Documents like insurance papers, social security car and tax documentation can be real headache to recover, especially when you’re trying to get your family back on their feet. And family heirlooms, photos and precious memories can be a real comfort when everything else is lost. So make sure you’re prepared to begin again by keeping your important documents and valuables safe.
For more information on how to prepare your home and family visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/prevention_education/index.shtm