Our home should be safe havens for all of us. You can make your home safer and free of danger – for you and the people you live with. By taking some simple steps that are no cost or low-cost, you can prepare your home and family for a fire or disaster. Creating a safety plan is the key to keeping everyone in the home safe. Lessening or taking away the dangers are the first steps, and having a working smoke alarm outside each sleeping area is important!
Home escape planning tips:
- Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
- Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
- Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
- Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
- Practice using different ways out.
Smoke alarms save lives:
- INSTALL smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Larger homes may need ADDITIONAL smoke alarms to provide enough protection.
- For the best protection, INTERCONNECT all smoke alarms so when one sounds they all sound.
- An IONIZATION smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a PHOTOELECTRIC smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms (also known as dual sensor alarms) are recommended.
- Smoke alarms should be INSTALLED away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance.
- REPLACE all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Cook with Caution:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
- CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
- Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.
- During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
- A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
- Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.