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Fire Safety in the Home

Fire Safety in the Home

The smoke detector in my house has been sitting on a garage shelf for a month now. Every time I pass, it silently calls to me, “Buy a new battery for me and put me back into service.” So far, I havenít listened.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration, 4,000 people died from fire in 2004 and nearly 18,000 were injured. This report also concluded:

  • The very young and the elderly have the highest risk of death from house fires.
  • Men are more likely than women to die in a fire.
  • Fire deaths are more likely to occur within a family living in poverty.
  • While this study proposes a variety of reasons for these findings, the conclusion is the same–all families can take simple steps to protect themselves from fire.

    Smoke Alarms
    The sole mission in a smoke alarmís life is to protect you and your family. More than 65 percent of fires that kill children under the age of 5 occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

    • Install smoke alarms outside every sleeping area and on every floor of a house.

    • Check smoke alarms monthly.

    • Replace the batteries in smoke alarms annually.

    • Safe Housekeeping
      Smoke and fire can spread rapidly, and family members may only have seconds to respond to a fire.

      • Keep bedroom doors closed–closed doors will slow the path of smoke and fire.
      • Keep walkways and exits clear from toys and other items.
      • Use nightlights to illuminate key escape routes.
      • Keep a fire extinguisher in the house. Check this fire extinguisher regularly and replace it as necessary.
      • Escape Plan
        Families should develop an escape plan and practice it with all family members. This plan should:

        • Account for all family members including infants, elderly persons and pets, especially those who may be incapable of escaping on their own.
        • Teach children how to respond in a fire.
        • Establish two escape routes from each room.
        • Identify where to go once outside the home.
        • Learn more: There is lots of information available online for families to make their home more fire safe. Take a few minutes to review sites like the U.S. Fire Administration and learn more.

Read more: Blogs, Health & Safety, Safe Sweet Home

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Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazineís Best Places to Work For and one of CRO Magazineís 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppy.

27 comments

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3:34AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Thanks

5:12PM PDT on Jun 16, 2008

The ones that they have installed in Oz run of elect but also clean them to make sure they are clean on of dust and grease so they work properly

3:02PM PDT on Jun 16, 2008

Check them twice a year -- Spring forward & check your batteries for carbon monoxide and smoke alarms and Fall backward (check them twice a year). Safe a life!

6:28AM PDT on Jun 14, 2008

I change my batteries twice a year. I know the detector orks just plug in the toaster and try to make toast without it going off

1:46PM PDT on Jun 12, 2008

Message to Alan D, fire alarms do NOT react to cigarettes or cigar smoke. And a bit of info, you get more bad air in your lungs from motor vehicles than a few wiffs of tobacco smoke.

1:06PM PDT on Jun 12, 2008

tnx

6:56AM PDT on Jun 12, 2008

I do not allow any smoke in my home. The last time smoke came it as a result of the microwave overheating some food, the detectors came on, although a bit slow. I try to check the batteries at least once a year and will not allow any smokers in. I try to keep my windows and other entrance-ways closed so to not allow smoke from fires and other polluting devices in.

5:32PM PDT on Jun 11, 2008

Here in the UK free smoke alarms are available to people on benefits and also to the elderly - thus leaving fewer reason not to follow the advice.

8:41PM PDT on Jun 10, 2008

thx

7:59PM PDT on Jun 10, 2008

WE ALWAYS HAD PRACTICE FIRE ALARMS WHILE OUR CHILDREN WERE GROWING UP.CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPT. OURS GIVES OUT SMOKE DETECTORS YEARLY FOR THOSE IN NEED.YOU GAVE GREAT IDEAS.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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