By: Kim Dunne, Media Manager
Did you know that in 2013 there were 1,240,000 fires reported in the United States? That resulted in 3,240 deaths, 15,925 injuries and $11.5 billion in property damage! A fire department responded to a fire every 25 seconds.
Whether or not you’re ready – a fire could happen to you. So the best defense is to be prepared, and ensure your family is prepared as well.
The most effective way to project yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. Sixty percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
Here are some fire safety tips:
- If a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call for help.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of you home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
So how can you take steps to try to prevent a home fire?
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
You can never anticipate a fire, so the best thing to be is prepared. With it being fire prevention week many children are hearing in school about the dangers of fire and how they can be prepared and will probably come home to talk to you about it. Now is the time to start a dialogue with your child. And if you don’t currently have an escape route from your house in place, now is the time to establish one and practice it.
Remember the best defense is preparedness!
For more tips visit the Red Cross website.