October is National Fire Prevention Month. At Covenant, we strive to keep your home comfortable, but if you don’t have a plan in place should a fire start, you may not have a home to keep comfy! Do you have an emergency preparedness plan in place for your family?
If you’re in a particularly hot and dry area (like Texas, or California) where fire can start and spread quickly, it’s essential to your safety to have a plan in place to escape a fire. Luckily, saving your home and family can be as easy as being prepared. Here are Covenant’s tips for fire safety!
When creating your escape plan, walk through your home and look for all possible exits from your home. In addition to finding the best escapes from everyone’s bedrooms, consider where your family may be during an average day and plan routes accordingly. You should identify two ways out of every room, including windows and doors.
Check all of your smoke alarms, and install them where necessary. Rule of Thumb is: One smoke alarm for each room where someone will be sleeping, one outside each sleeping area, and one on every level of your home. According to the fire safety code, they should also all be interconnected. If one alarm sounds, they should all sound to notify every member of your household.
Make sure everyone in your home understands the escape plan. If you have young children, walk them through the plan. You can download this escape planning grid from the National Fire Protection Association, which will help your children get involved in Fire Safety in a non-threatening way.
Practice your plan, and have a designated meet-up spot outside the house that everyone will report to in the event of a fire.
Once you’re out of your house, stay out! Do not go back inside for any reason until your home has been cleared by the fire department.
Did you know that even your HVAC system can fight fires? In many heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts, there is a fire damper in place. Activated by rising temperatures, the damper closes automatically to prevent smoke from spreading into the ducts and spreading throughout your home. Dampers should be tested periodically, so when you test your smoke alarms, take a few extra minutes to check your dampers. Dampers should not be your primary defense from smoke, but they can certainly help.
For more information preparing your home in case of fire, the National Fire Protection Association has great tips on their website. If you’re not sure how to test your fire dampers (or are even sure that you have them!), call Covenant today for an inspection. Stay safe, and Happy October!