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It’s almost one of our favorite weeks of the year at Beacon Hose — Fire Prevention Week, when we get to share important fire prevention and safety tips with our community.
Make sure to join us Friday, Oct. 11, from 6-9 p.m. at the firehouse for our open house, when we’ll have hands-on demonstrations to teach some important fire prevention and safety tips! (More info at the bottom of this post.)
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape!” What does this mean? The first line of defense against fire emergencies is you — especially the ways in which you prepare in case you need to escape during a fire. In places where you frequent, you should always have a plan for multiple escape routes in case of fire or other emergency.
We want to make sure that all of our residents have developed fire escape plans in their own homes. Everyone who lives in your home should know two ways out of every room, practice them to simulate conditions of a smoky house at nighttime, and have a safe meeting place outside and away from your home so that we know everyone made it out safely.
We also want to make sure our residents have installed smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of their homes, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms.
Here are a few key bits of information that you might not know about the importance of smoke detectors and escape plans. (If you’d like to see more fast facts about fires, click here.)
- Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.
- One-quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
- Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
- When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
- Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it.
See? It’s important to have plenty of working smoke detectors, and it’s crucial to develop (and practice) a fire escape plan at your home.
Check out this graphic for some information about how to check to see when it’s time to replace your fire alarm, plus some other fast facts.
Our friends at the National Fire Prevention Association have lots of information about smoke alarms here, but the key things to know are simple.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
- Test your smoke alarms every month.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
Here’s some more information about smoke detectors. If you need help installing your smoke alarms, or if you want more information about our smoke detector program, click here.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about your escape plan. It’s crucial that your family designs an escape plan from every room in your home. Here are a few tips for your escape plan.
- Everyone should know at least two ways out of every room.
- Everyone should know the family’s meeting place at a safe distance outside the home.
- It’s very important to practice this plan a few times a year.
- If you have bedrooms on a second floor, it’s a good idea to purchase fire escape ladders to keep in the bedrooms in case escaping through the first floor isn’t possible.
Here’s a little more information about escape plans. If you want to print out a chart that will let you diagram your own escape plan and hang it on your home, click here.
There are some more very good fire escape tips in this video.
We know there’s a lot of information in this post, but it’s all very important — and pretty easy to remember, as long as you practice good smoke detector maintenance and fire escape planning regularly. If you’d like to print out a checklist to perform during this Fire Prevention Week — and once a month — click here.
If you ever have any questions about your own fire prevention preparations or plans, you can contact us at any time by clicking here, calling the fire department at 203-729-1470 or stopping by the station.
We hope you can join us for our open house on Oct. 11 from 6-9 p.m. for live fire demonstrations, hands-on opportunities, and refreshments!