October is Fire Prevention Month! On average, fires cause 3,000 deaths and 15,000 injuries in the U.S. each year, so this is the perfect time to brush up on these 5 fire safety tips that could, quite possibly, save your life.
Your Safety Starts with Working Smoke Detectors
Don’t wait for the batteries to run down on your smoke detector. Keep your family safe without relying on a low battery signal.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends changing batteries at least once a year and replacing smoke alarms every 10 years. With children in the house and for your own peace of mind, play it even safer and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries at least twice a year.
Investing in a hardwired detector is recommended. They rely on the battery only during power outages.
If you choose to use battery-operated detectors, be sure to set up a replacement schedule. The easiest way to keep track of when to change the batteries, is to follow the time change schedule. Replace the batteries with each Daylight-Saving Time switch.
When you spring forward and fall backward, install new batteries in every smoke and carbon monoxide detector around your home. This will give your detectors fresh batteries twice a year and ready for the changing seasons.
Protect Every Level of Your Home
Not only is it important to have working smoke detectors in your home, but it’s also important to have the correct amount to stay up to safety codes. Homes should have smoke detectors installed inside every bedroom, one outside of every sleeping area and one on every level of your home, including the basement. Make sure your home is up to code and call the experts at Mister Sparky to install them.
Set a Testing Schedule
It’s important to test each detector monthly. If this seems like a lot to keep track of, mark it on your smartphone’s calendar (or your family’s wall calendar) of the day for the next 12 months that you’ll be testing on.
A 2014 report from the NFPA said that nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths between 2007 and 2011 occurred because the homes had smoke alarms that didn’t work. In nearly half, the smoke alarm’s batteries were disconnected or missing and 24% had dead batteries. As tempting as it is to disconnect the battery when burnt toast sets it off, open windows to clear the room but leave your smoke detector alone.
By setting up a testing schedule, you’ll be able to verify the batteries are installed, connectors are working properly, and the alarm is loud enough. Mark your calendar and stick to your testing schedule.
Don’t Forget Hardwired Smoke Detectors
If your house has a security system, you may have hardwired smoke detectors that are tied into your system. Most alarm companies recommend you test your burglar alarm once a month. This is a good time to test your alarm system’s smoke detector too.
Review Your Home Fire Safety Plan
Run through your family’s fire safety plan at least twice a year when you’re changing the batteries. Or review monthly when you’re testing your detectors.
Hold home fire drills to make sure everyone in your family knows how to get out of the house in case there’s a fire.
Reminding your kids about your family’s fire safety tips ensures they know exactly what to do if an alarm ever goes off. Reviewing the drills is especially helpful for younger children who need their memories refreshed more often.
Fire safety is very important to review and stay up to date with. Keep your family safe with these simple steps and remember to call the electrical professionals at Mister Sparky if you’re ever unsure about something or need something installed like a new smoke detector.