The time it takes to brush your teeth, for kernels to pop in the microwave, for you to make your bed. Two minutes is all the time is takes for a fire to spread through your home. While the rapid spread of flames can be damaging and frightening, accidents do happen. There are essential precautionary steps you can take to ensure your home and your family are well prepared for when it does.
Fire Alarms are Watching at All Times
You can’t be everywhere in your house at once. But a fire alarm has your back. Having one on each floor of your home is essential. Having one inside each bedroom and right outside of each bedroom is also required for maximum safety. Make sure to remind your parents that fire alarm batteries should be checked every month, and absolutely changed every year. They should chirp themselves when it’s time to change them, but you should still test once a month. Having batteries in the house at all times is important for this matter! Write it on your family calendar each month as a reminder. Better safe than sorry, always.
Talk About It
You have fire drills in school, why not have a fire drill for your family? You can never be too prepared when it comes to your safety. It may seem silly at the time, but you’ll feel much more confident in what to do if there happens to be a crisis. Here are some things to note when talking about your strategy with your family:
Create a Fire-Safe Environment!
Candles, matches, faulty kitchen appliances or electrical outlets. Talk with your parents about these things and what to do to combat a fire starting from one of these items. If you have little siblings, matches and candles should remain in hard to reach places, although no matter what age you should be careful when using them. If one of these gets put in the wrong spot or tipped over, a fire could spread as a result in seconds. A common solution for families with young children is investing in flameless candles. A small light is used and placed inside the candle rather than lighting an actual flame.
Is it time for some electrical outlets to be replaced? Time for a new toaster? It’s typically time for a new kitchen appliance after 10-15 years. Again, have a discussion with your parents about potentially dangerous household items.
Anticipate Heat Everywhere
This is an old tip in the book, but it stands true as ever. If you smell smoke and fear that there is a fire happening that you can’t see, anticipate that the fire is in every room. Before you enter into a new room or walk out of your current one, feel the closed door for heat on the other side. Additionally, put your hand at the bottom of the door to feel for heat coming through there. Lightly touch the door handle, as depending on its material it could be extremely hot if there really is heat on the other side.
Get Low & Go
During a fire, smoke sneaks into your lungs as if it’s welcome there. Avoid it by crouching low, crawling if you have to, to escape its path. Smoke doesn’t mess around - it can continue to damage your lungs even after the fire. Cover your mouth, hold your breath and get low and go!
Above all tips, the first thing you do if there is ever a fire in your home is to get out of the house. At the time of crisis, you may be thinking of other things to do: grab your belongings, call 911, or find a family member. None of those things come before your safety. Again, talk about the plan of action with your family so everyone is on the same page. Communication is essential, but there’s no time to do that when a fire is ablaze. Plan ahead, be prepared, and stay safe!