Some tips to keep in mind to keep your home and your family safe- this winter, and all year long.

  • Alarms: Your home should have smoke alarms on every level (even the basement). It’s especially important to have them outside of each sleeping area.
  • Be ready for the real thing. Put your escape plan to the test with a fire drill at least twice a year. That way if a real fire ever happens, everyone in the family will know what to do.
  • Checkto make sure the batteries in your smoke alarms work. Batteries should be replaced once a year, or when you hear the alarm “chirp” — that means that the battery is low.
  • Memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. Remind everyone that they should get out first, then call for help from outside, or at a neighbor’s home.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest. Practice crawling low under smoke in case you must go through it to get out. Smoke is nasty stuff — even worse than fire itself. To keep from breathing it in, crawl low under the smoke on your hands and knees. Your head will be in a “safety zone” of clean air about knee high.
  • Make sure that electrical cords are in good condition, with no cracked or frayed areas.

    Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week Web site,  ©2005 NFPA.

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