While spending more time at home, it’s important that you take the necessary safety steps to make sure your family is ready for the unexpected in the event a home fire or carbon monoxide (CO) leak. You might be surprised to learn that CO poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the United States each year and, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Make sure your family and house are prepared by following these safety tips and tools.
Place Alarms on Every Level and in Every Bedroom
Even if you have smoke and CO alarms in your home, you and your family may not be sufficiently protected if you don’t have enough devices throughout your entire home. To help ensure the highest level of protection, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing alarms on every level of your house, inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
Regularly Test, Maintain and Replace Alarms
Even though testing your alarms is as simple as pressing a button and waiting for the beep, a First Alert survey showed that more than 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly. Make sure to test alarms regularly, change the batteries every six months if the alarm is battery-powered and make sure all alarms have a battery backup if hardwired, for protection during a power outage. To eliminate battery replacements for a decade, upgrade to 10-year sealed battery alarms to eliminate battery replacements. Also, if you can’t remember the last time you installed an alarm in your house, chances are, it’s time to replace it. Alarms are on duty 24/7 and need to be replaced at least every 10 years to keep you and your family safe.
Double-up On Safety Systems
While many homeowners know the importance of protecting their home from the threats of smoke and fire, studies show that fewer households are equipped with CO alarms. CO is responsible for an average of 450 deaths each year. CO is an invisible, odorless gas that cannot be detected without an alarm. For ultimate home safety, install combination alarms for 2-in-1 protection, such as the Combination Smoke and CO Alarm with a 10-year sealed battery for long-lasting protection and added safety.
Be Prepared to Fight Small Flames
According to the NFPA, the number one cause of home fires is unattended cooking. Cooking fires are expected to increase significantly with incremental cooking occurring at homes across the country right now, so it is important for you to stay alert and be watchful in the kitchen. Beyond alarms, having fire extinguishers – and knowing how to use them – is an integral part of a home safety plan. Place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and keep it within reach so it is easily accessible in the event of a fire. Our First Alert Kitchen Fire Extinguisher, is rated to fight flammable liquid and electrical fires and features a durable metal head.
Form a Safety Escape Plan
In the event that your family needs to evacuate your home, every second counts. The NFPA reports that only 32% of American households have actually developed and practiced an emergency safety escape plan. Involve everyone in your household when developing an emergency escape plan, especially children. Identify two exits out of each room, including windows and doors, and set a dedicated meeting spot outside the house. Once outside, stay outside and call 9-1-1. Be sure to practice your safety escape plan with the entire family at least twice a year. Learn more about how to keep your family and home safe.