Tips for Family Fire Safety in the Home
by Heather Mosher

Tips for Family Fire Safety in the Home

No matter the time of year or the climate, people in all areas of the country are at risk for having fires in their homes.   In 2013 alone, there were over 369,000 reported structure fires with 2,755 related deaths.  Given those scary statistics, it’s important to think about a fire escape plan for your home.  Whether you are a single person or a family of 5, having a plan that you know, understand, and practice is vitally important.  Here are a few tips from the National Fire Protection Association to help you make your plan a reality.

  • Talk to your family.  Get everyone on the same page.
  • Walk through the home and have all family members participate by pointing out possible exits.  This includes doors and windows.  Also, have them point out smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and anything else that’s important.
  • Draw a simple house floor plan  – mark things like exits, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers.  Put it in a place where family members can see it at all times.
  • Install smoke alarms by every sleeping room and in common areas.  Also place multiple fire extinguishers around the home, including the basement.
  • Have all (able) family members memorize important safety phone numbers such as 911, the local police and fire stations, a trusted neighbor, and/or an outside family member.
  • Make sure all family members know how to use fire extinguishers.
  • Choose an outside meeting place – if it’s in a neighbor’s yard, talk to your neighbor first so they understand and can help, especially if younger children make it out first.
  • Check batteries in smoke alarms twice a year (some people remember this by doing it during the two annual time changes – spring and fall.)
  • Manufactured homes built after 1976 have updated HUD requirements regarding fire safety.  These homes will show a label that they are HUD approved and have met those specific safety requirements.
  • Review your plan once or twice a year to ensure that all family members, especially younger ones, stay well practiced!

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