As it gets colder outside, the risk of a devastating house fire goes up dramatically. We all want to stay cozy and warm this time of year, but with more heating appliances and fireplaces running, we have to take extra precautions.
Most of us know to change the batteries in our home’s smoke detector when we change our clocks twice a year, but do you know you should also change the actual fire alarm every decade, too?
And do you regularly test yours? The folks at Kidde are experts in the alarm business and say we should all be testing them weekly. Yes, weekly.
Again, who knew?!
There are all kinds of interesting facts like this that I think will help us protect our families from something as catastrophic as a home fire, so here’s a list of some of the most critical.
Smoke alarms give you additional time to escape safely if a fire does break out in your home. It happened with one of my homes and the smoke alarm actually woke people up and gave them time to get out quickly. I hate to even think about what might have happened if an alarm didn’t wake them from their sleep. Make sure you have smoke alarms placed strategically around your home. That means having at least one on each level of your home, outside of each sleeping area, and even inside each bedroom.
Fire can spread fast. Really fast. So, have a plan. Create it now. Map out how you’ll get out of your house and where you’ll all meet afterward so that everyone knows each other is safe.
Practice, practice, practice that escape plan with your family. If you have a second floor, be sure you have a ladder you can drop out the window to climb down if your stairs are blocked.
Don’t forget carbon monoxide testers, too. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the second most common cause of non-medicinal poisoning deaths. According to the CDC, more than 10,000 people are poisoned by carbon monoxide and need medical treatment each year. More than 438 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Don’t forget the extras, like a fire extinguisher that you can keep in the kitchen where most fires are likely to start. And again, test it on the regular.
Don’t think these things matter? Well, they can save a life. Maybe yours. Or your family.
As part of the “Operation Save a Life” safety outreach program in Atlanta recently, Kidde partnered with WSB-TV and The Home Depot to help educate consumers on the importance of smoke and carbon detectors. Kidde donated 6,000 free alarms to give to people in the community who can’t afford their own. WSB and Home Depot are working with fire departments in various ways to get these detectors in the homes of those who need them. Others can pick up a new Kidde alarm at their closest Home Depot store. They cost very little considering how much is at stake. The photos below are from the media event with WSB-TV, Kidde, and the Home Depot held when Kidde announced the gift of thousands of smoke alarms, with area firefighting leaders invited to lunch as part of the event.