5 Tips for Whole Home Safety

1. Install Smoke & CO Alarms in your home

Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms provide an early warning for you and your family in the event of an emergency in your home. Alarms should be installed on every level and in every bedroom for whole home protection. Combination smoke and CO alarm systems provide 2-in-1 protection against smoke and carbon monoxide saving space on your wall and installation time.

2. Be Prepared with Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers can help stop a small fire from growing larger and causing more damage to your house. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher or EZ Fire Extinguishing Spray on every level of your home, as well as in the kitchen and garage. It is also important you know how to use a fire extinguisher before ever having to use one. A helpful acronym is P.A.S.S. – pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep from side to side.

3. Plan & Practice Your Emergency Safety Route with Your Family

In the event of a home emergency, help keep your family safe by planning and practicing a home escape plan. Your safety plan should include two exits out of every bedroom and a designated meeting spot a safe distance from your house like the mailbox or neighbor’s house. Practice and review your emergency safety escape plan with the whole family, especially children, at least twice a year to be sure everyone remembers the plan.

4. Test & Maintain Your Alarm Systems

Test the smoke and CO alarms in your house monthly to ensure they are working properly. If you have a battery powered alarm, change the batteries every six months to make sure your family is safe. Basic maintenance of your alarms includes cleaning them at least once a month. To clean, gently vacuum the outside of the alarm using your household vacuum’s soft brush attachment. A can of clean compressed air, found at computer or office supply stores, may also be used. Never use water, cleaners or solvents because they can damage the alarm. If the smoke or CO alarm in your house becomes contaminated by excessive dirt, dust or grime, and cannot be cleaned, you should replace the alarm with a new one immediately.

5. Replace Your Alarms After 10 Years

Smoke and CO alarm systems do not last forever and should be replaced at least 10 years from the manufacture date. The manufacture date can be found on the back of the alarm. When replacing, upgrade outdated alarms to 10-year sealed battery alarms to eliminate the need for battery replacements for the life of the alarm. An end-of-life warning will let you know when the alarms needs to be replaced.