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A Fire Safety Refresher for Families

Daylight savings time is a recommended time to refresh a household fire safety plan. A fire in the home is not only dangerous, but can leave lasting impressions in the minds of adults and children alike when faced with such a personal tragedy. Fire fighters and public safety officers advocate that with the right preparation and planning, a fire in the home can be an easily averted crisis, or an event that does not have to cause catastrophic damage to a home or the occupants within.

One of the best ways to protect a home and family from fire is by installing and maintaining smoke detectors on every floor of the home, outside of bedrooms and on stairway landings. If possible, it is recommended that the smoke detectors are linked together so that if one detects smoke, all of the detectors will sound an alarm. Always be sure to keep fresh batteries in the smoke detectors and test them at least every six months to be sure they are in proper working order. Fire and public safety officials also recommend the installation of ladders in second- and third-level windows for an easy escape, as well as fire extinguishers on at least every level of the home.

In case of a fire, a family needs to know the best ways to get out of the home. Each home is different, and one plan may not work for all households, or even other concerns such as the season or time of day. Be sure that all members of the household know the best way to get out of the home in case of a fire, and if small children or family members with disabilities are present, assign an adult to assist that person. If you are unsure about the best route for escape, consult your local fire or public safety department for recommendations, and be sure to assign a safe spot outside where all family members are to wait for each other. Teach all members of the household to stay as low to the ground as possible if smoke is present, and if a door is hot to the touch, never open it to escape, as well as the “stop, drop and roll,” technique if a family member’s clothing or person is on fire.

Fire fighters and public safety officers can provide life-saving services to a family that has been affected by a fire in the home. Before these first-responders arrive, a family or household can implement simple fire safety plans and precautions in order to minimize the damage caused by a fire in the home.

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