October is fire safety month – and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) will be kicking off its Fire Prevention Week on Sunday with the theme “hear the beep where you sleep.”
Results from the association’s fire safety questionnaire showed nearly 42 percent of the 36,000 respondents did not know there should be a smoke detector in every bedroom in their house. In addition, the NFPA has statistics showing that half of all U.S. home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most of us are asleep!
Given all this, we’ve put together a list of fires safety tips that every homeowner should know and implement to keep their home and family safe.
- Hear the beep where you sleep! Keeping with NFPA’s theme, our first tip is to have smoke alarms installed on each level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. Be sure to test the alarms once a month by pushing the TEST button. Nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths in the U.S. occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
- Plan and practice your family’s escape route. First off, if you don’t have a fire escape route, you’ll want to put one together for your family. While you’re at it, you’ll want to put together a whole home fire safety plan. Practice your fire escape and plan at least twice a year so all of you are comfortable with what to do in an emergency.
- Buy fire extinguishers for your home. The association recommends keeping an extinguisher on each floor of the house. Home extinguishers weigh from 3 to 20 pounds and can cost from about $15 to $50 or more. Check the instructions on how to operate it. For most, you’ll want to stand about 6 feet away and pull the extinguisher safety pin. Then squeeze the trigger slowly and sweep the flames until the extinguisher runs dry in about 10 to 20 seconds. The NFPA has several more fire extinguisher safety tips as well.
- Check your home fire sprinklers. Not all houses have them, but several Arizona cities require them. Sprinklers require very little maintenance, but if you own an older home, you might want an inspection done. If a sprinkler pipe leaks, you need to have a licensed fire protection tech make the repairs. A plumber can’t do it. If you bump a sprinkler head while moving furniture, you could set off a flood.
By taking care of these four items over the next week, you can help ensure your family and home are better protected.
For more tips, help and information for your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Rosieonthehouse.com, Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information.
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