With the fires continuing to rage through California, the fact that October is National Fire Prevention Week seems a bit creepily coincidental. However, with this devastating battle with nature being prominent in the news, now is a great time to make sure people have the tools and know-how to keep their family and property safer in case of a fire or other emergencies.
Statistics show that on average, firefighters respond to a home fire once every 24 seconds, according to The National Fire Protection Association. In order to keep safe, it is important to have proper equipment throughout the home or apartment.
It isn't enough just having the proper equipment. It is essential to know how to use these items. Only 25 percent of consumers are aware of the recommendation to replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Also, 41 percent of adults have never operated a fire extinguisher, despite the fact that they put out a fire 94 percent of the time they are used.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be placed somewhere high up, and the batteries should be checked twice per year. Many people recommend checking the batteries when you change the clocks. However, there are new combinations of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that are digital and do not require frequent battery changes.
Fire extinguishers are to be placed in multiple locations throughout an apartment or home. At least one per floor is recommended, and one should be added specifically for the kitchen.
Dave White is a home safety expert from Home Depot who offered some valuable tips on ways to keep your loved ones and property safe.
- Have working smoke detectors, and if they are older than 10 years, they need to be replaced.
- Keep fire extinguishers handy throughout the home.
- Make sure to get the correct fire extinguisher for every area of your home
- Practice using them using the P.A.S.S. system: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the trigger, and Sweep back and forth at the base of the fire.
- Have an escape plan and practice with your family