These 2 Steps could Save Your Life in a House Fire

October is Fire Prevention Month, which is an expanded version of the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week. As home security professionals, the staff at Nationwide Security Systems would like to take this opportunity to provide information and household fire safety tips for our clients and the local Connecticut community.

Focus on Home Fire Safety: October is the Ideal Time

As the month of October begins, homeowners typically start thinking of Halloween costumes and parties, along with the coming holiday season ahead, and (hopefully) some vacation time during the season. These activities and occasions bring up specific fire dangers, especially when combined with the increased use of fireplaces, gas heating systems and portable heaters in wintertime. All in all, it’s a perfect time of year to talk about fire safety in and around your home.

House Fires in Recent Times

House Fire Facts

  • Household fires are more common than you might think–and they can be deadly. On average, 8 people per day die in home fires across the US, according to the latest NFPA figures.

  • Nearly 40 people are injured in these residential fires (in addition to the deaths) and the annual property damage amounts to $7 billion, according to the Red Cross.

  • Fire deaths are increasing. Residential fire deaths actually went up 15% in 2013.

  • Smoke alarms are your most effective prevention tool, cutting the risk of death from fire in half.

Staying Safe at Home

The two basic home fire safety tips that the Red Cross is focusing on are:

1.) Installing Smoke Alarms

  • Set up your in-home fire warning system. Installing smoke alarms can help keep you safe in case of a fire, by giving you enough warning to exit the home.

  • Smoke detectors should be placed in your home’s bedrooms and the area outside the bedrooms, such as a common hallway between bedrooms.

  • Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries annually. As Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern recently pointed out, “smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half.”

  • If the smoke alarm goes off, get out of the house as quickly as you can, before you become trapped or fall victim to smoke inhalation and pass out. To get ready for evacuation, see tip #2.

2.) Making an Escape Plan

  • Create your home fire escape plan: Take a few minutes right now to plan a fire escape route for your family at your home.

  • Practice following your fire escape route a couple times each year, so that it will be second nature if you are awakened by fire at the most common time (late night to early morning, when people are typically sound asleep. Keep in mind that half of all household fire deaths occur between 11 pm and 7 am when you are likely to be groggy and disoriented. The Red Cross estimates that you have 2 minutes to escape a house fire.

  • Map out two different paths from each room to the outdoors in case of fire.

  • Have escape ladders nearby for bedrooms on the second floor or higher up.

  • Choose a meeting place safely away from the home where everyone can gather to be accounted for.

  • Time your fire drill, practicing until everyone can complete it in under two minutes. A Red Cross’ survey showed that less than 20 percent of families with young children have practiced household fire drills. Don’t be one of those families. Avoid an unnecessary tragedy with these 2 simple steps for home fire safety.

If you need additional incentive to follow these safety tips, consider this: About 60% of those who died in household fires had no smoke alarm in their home, according to the most recent stats from the NFPA.

To learn more about keeping your home, family and business safe, visit our blog regularly or contact Nationwide Security Systems today.