4 Tips for Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month; fire departments across the country hold educational events focused on fire and home safety.  To support this effort, we’ve complied four tips to help keep you and your family safe:

1)  Make an Escape Plan:

In the event of a home safety emergency, every second counts. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you may have less than two minutes to escape after your smoke alarms sound. That’s why it’s important to be prepared – plan and practice an escape route with your family.

Here’s what to do:

  • Walk through your home and identify at least two ways out of each room in the house. If windows or doors are blocked, clear them so they can be opened.
  • For two-story houses, consider equipping bedrooms with escape ladders to provide additional exits. If you need an escape ladder, Secur-Tek has these in stock.
  • Decide who should assist small children or infants out of the home.
  • Assign a meeting spot outside that is a safe distance away from your house – like the mailbox, tree, or neighbor’s house.
  • Ensure your street address is clearly visible for first responders to see.
  • If you have children, teach them how to call 9-1-1 once outside at your meeting spot and help them memorize your home address.
  • Once you have your escape plan, stage a fire drill for practice.


2)  Check your Smoke Alarmswhy smoke alarms are important

  • Smoke alarms are essential. If you don’t have them, install them or have them installed. It’s recommended to have smoke alarms on every floor of your home, inside and outside sleeping areas.
  • Maintain your smoke alarms – to make sure they are working properly, test your smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button to be sure the alarm is working. And don’t let them get too old – replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all should sound.  And when a smoke alarm sounds, get outside, call 911, and stay outside until the fire department says it’s safe to go back inside your home.


3) Have Fire Extinguishers on hand

  • Fire extinguishers should be available on every level of the home, especially in the kitchen and garage. Store them in accessible places or mount them on the wall for easy access. 
  • Read the instructions carefully and teach all family members how to use it.

When using a fire extinguisher, it helps to remember the PASS technique:

P – Pull the pin

A – Aim directly at the source of the fire 

S – Squeeze the lever slowly and smoothly to get the flow even and aimed where you need it

S – Swipe back and forth to contain and eliminate all burning fuel.


4) Prevent household fires

  • Kitchen fires caused by unattended cooking are a major cause of fires. Don’t leave items unattended on the stove and remember to turn all pot handles inward.  Click here for more kitchen safety tips.
  • Ensure your fireplace screen covers the entire fireplace.
  • Have proper ventilation for heaters and other small appliances.
  • Use the correct size fuses and check for worn-out electrical wiring.



For more information on safety and fire prevention go to https://www.apexnc.org/335/Safety-Information

For information on heat alarms, please see https://secur-tek.com/sensors-and-your-security-system/


Thanks for reading!


Secur-Tek’s North Carolina service area includes Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Garner, Holly Springs, Durham, Raleigh, Morrisville, Pittsboro and Wake Forest. 


Save Lives by Checking Smoke Alarms this Month

49370576 - replacing battery in domestic smoke alarmIf a fire broke out in your home, when do you think that would happen? If you guessed “at night,” you’re right. In fact, half of all fire deaths are reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep.

Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. In other words, smoke alarms save lives.

The second week of October is Fire Prevention Week, and it’s a good time to check your smoke alarm. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead. When was the last time you checked your alarm?

Maybe you removed the battery to quiet the alarm last time your oven started smoking while you cooked dinner. Although smoke alarms can be annoying sometimes, that’s the point — you want it to wake you up in an emergency.

Here are three important steps to take to make sure your alarm is ready to save your family:

1. Change the battery. Many people have heard to change the batteries each time we spring forward or fall back for Daylight Saving Time. That’s coming up Nov. 6, so head to the store to buy some new batteries.

2. Check the date. While you’re on the ladder or stepstool changing the battery, be sure to also check the date on the alarm. Many people don’t know that smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. If you have lived in your home fewer than 10 years, you may not know how old the device is. To find out, pull the alarm off the ceiling and look at the back. You’ll see a date of manufacture. If your alarm was manufactured before October 2006, it’s time for a new one.

3. Test the alarm. Once you have fresh batteries and have confirmed the alarm is still within the 10-year mark, it’s time to test it. To test, press and hold the test button. It can take a few seconds to begin, but the loud noise should screech out from the smoke detector while the button is pressed. If there is no sound or the sound is weak and you just put in new batteries, replace the device immediately.

Once you’ve finished checking your smoke alarm, be sure to test your security system, which can also help alert authorities in case of fire. For more information on how to do that, check out our recent blog post on the topic.

Security & Home Automation