Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Check your batteries often, and be sure to replace your smoke detectors no later than 10 years from the date of manufacture.
Be sure to check out these tips to keep safe during the holiday season!
Do you know how to prepare to keep your family and home safe? If there is a fire, you may have less than 3 minutes to get out of your home. Talk about what you should do to be safe. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do if there is a fire.
Check manufacturer’s labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.
Don’t connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
Home fire safety doesn’t stop at the door. There are many fire risks
outside the home. You may have these in your backyard. Check out some of the ways you can keep your home safer from outside fire.
During the five-year period of 2009-2013:
- Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
- Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
- Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
- On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day.
- More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
Source: NFPA “Home Candle Fires” report
Fire is Fast!!
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 thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. If you wake up to a fire, you won’t have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.
Fire is HOT!
Heat is more threatening than flames.
A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.
Fire is Dark!!
Fire isn’t bright, it’s pitch black.
Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in for years.
Fire is Deadly!!
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do.
Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.