NEWS | Sept. 15, 2011

September is National Preparedness Month

By U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA

Fire Safety

In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames. By preparing for a fire emergency, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a fire casualty.

- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas.

- Test your smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries when daylight savings times change.

- Replace smoke alarms every 8-10 years or as the manufacturer guidelines recommend.

- Plan your escape from fire. The best plans have two ways to get out of each room.

- Practice fire escape plans several times a year. Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.

- Purchase only collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory.

- Check that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened.

- Make sure everyone in your family understands and practices how to properly operate and open locked or barred doors and windows.

- Consider installing residential fire sprinklers in your home.