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.
- 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.