If a fire happens... Will you be ready?

Recent news reminds us just how deadly a fire can be to our home...

Residents of Seattle and other Washington cities got a stark reminder of the danger from fires this past summer. Smoke from multiple large Washington fires unexpectedly engulfed the city, making the very air unhealthy to breathe.  Even in the cool and rainy Pudget Sound area, we fool ourselves if we don’t make real preparations to deal with fire danger.

Preparing for house fires - 7 steps

Many Seattle residents, especially long-time natives, may not be very familiar with the proper precautions for fire. But in a world of changing climate, it’s good to brush up on basics.

  • Install the right number of smoke alarms: The National Fire Alarm Code requires buildings to have interconnected, hard-wired smoke detector alarms with battery backup on every level of the house, outside every bedroom, and in every sleeping area. Batteries should be replaced once every year.
  • Teach your children what fire alarms sounds like: It’s important to teach even very young children what to do if a fire occurs or if the alarm sounds.
  • Designated a meeting place outside the home: Family members should each know two ways to escape from the house, and know where to meet outside.
  • Establish an emergency communications plan: Even if your family becomes separated, you should still know how to get in contact with each other.
  • Do a fire drill once a year: Make sure everyone knows how to leave the home at a moment’s notice.
  • Teach family members to stop, drop, and roll: Especially young children.

Fire may not seem like a part of the practical reality of the day-to-day at the moment, but that could change any time. A focus on the fundamentals is the best way to keep your family safe.

Your fire alarm systems should also be professionally installed and regularly tested. Also install carbon monoxide detectors.

Simple precautions for house fires

Beyond the 7 basic preparations for fires, it also pays to exercise common sense in your daily life. If you smoke, do so outside, and do not smoke while drowsy or medicated. Use fire safe cigarettes and sturdy ashtrays. Don’t leave candles, portable heaters, or open flames unattended.

Again, on a daily basis, fire may not seem like a huge danger. But when it rears its ugly head, you’ll be happy you took precautions.

 

Click HERE to learn more from the American Red Cross on fire prevention & evacuation.

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