Fire prevention month is in October, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about keeping your family safe in case of fire any month out of the year. Many homes use the Spring Ahead of Day Light Savings Time to help remind them that the batteries in smoke detectors need to be changed once a year. But there are many other things you can do to plan for fire prevention.
Every year the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) hosts a Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week for 2013 will be observed the week of October 6-12th. But you don’t have to wait until then to make sure you are prepared in case of fire.
If you do not already, the key thing you can do to keep your family safe is to have a fire escape plan. You can download this How to Make a Home Fire Escape Plan from the NFPA to help, but most of it is summarized below.
1) You should have a map of your home showing all doors and windows.
2) Each room of your house should have two ways out in case of fire. Make sure these are shown on your map.
3) Make sure your home has smoke alarms and that they WORK! They should be placed in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
4) In case of fire, your family should know the best way to get out of the house and you should designate a meeting place somewhere outside, far enough from the house that you are out of danger. Also, if there are infants in the house or adults or older children with mobility issues, make sure someone is assigned to each of them to ensure they get out safely.
5) The most important part of your Home Fire Escape Plan is to PRACTICE IT! Most people believe they have a lot longer to get out safely than is normally the case. In many cases it is less than 5 minutes, so practice is important to ensure the plan allows for everyone to get out in that time. You should also practice with different scenarios of where the fire might be in case it changes someone’s route of how they would get out of the house.
You can also download this Escape Planning document from the NFPA. It also outlines what you should have in place to ensure everyone in your house escapes the house safely in case of fire.
So even though Fire Prevention Month is in October, take some time now to start getting your Home Escape Plan in place if you don’t already have one. You can never be too safe!