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 at least once a year.
- 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 (UL).
- 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.
Contact your local fire department on a non-emergency phone number if you need help or have questions about fire safety in your home.