Happy Fire Prevention Week

We were at the Fire Hall for a birthday party. A dozen toddlers, in various states of awe, stunned silence and/or wriggliness, surrounded by their equally excited parents. Seriously. We were going to be allowed to get in the fire trucks. The kids were given their own fire helmets. To keep! As well as crayons. And firefighter Jordan was giving us some cool demos of just how quickly the crew can get into their safety gear. (I need to get that boots and pants and suspenders in one move thing dialled for powder days.)

Also, Jordan dished a few safety tips. Fitting, with National Fire Prevention Week kicking off today.

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It’s not as enticing to listen to safety messages when you don’t have the immediate prospect of getting in the fire truck, I realise, so I’ve tried to keep it short and sweet.

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Here’s what to do!

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. (Or burning your toast. As I do.)
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

Change the batteries in your smoke alarms at the same time you set the clocks back. It’s an easy reminder.

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You also want to hatch a home escape plan with your entire family, in the event of a fire. Print out a great how-to guide, here.

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