05 Oct 5 Things to Know & Do for National Home Fire Prevention Month
Although home tends to be a place of safety and comfort for many, there can be some latent dangers in residences that, with the right (or wrong) catalysts, can increase the risk of an accident or harmful event – like a home fire. In fact, every 85 seconds or so, a home fire is reported to a fire department in the U.S.1
To help keep people safe at home, this month the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is sponsoring National Fire Prevention Month, a campaign focused on educating people about:
- The most common causes of home fires
- What they can do to minimize their risk of a home fire
- What they should do in the event a fire ever breaks out in their homes/a place where they are staying.
In support of this effort, below, we have pointed out some of the main things adults should take away from National Fire Prevention Month so that they can continue to enjoy a safe home with their families.
How to Reduce Your Risk of a Home Fire: What You Can Do
- Install smoke alarms in strategic locations in your home – Ideally, you will want to have a smoke alarm on every floor of your home (including in basements), as well as in every bedroom. If you are not able to get a smoke alarm in every bedroom, make sure that, at the very least, a smoke alarm can be heard in/from every bedroom in your home. This is critical, as the NFPA points out that about half of all home fires break out between 11 pm and 7 am (when people are usually in bed sleeping).
- Have a plan for regularly checking smoke alarms – Every 6 to 12 months, make it a habit to check the batteries and operation of every smoke alarm in your home. After all, these alarms will be useless at protecting you if they don’t work or have functional batteries.
- Keep a working fire extinguisher at home – And make sure that you, other adults in your home and older children know how to use it. Ideally, keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home so that these tools are readily accessible where- or whenever they are needed.
- Avoid risky behaviors that can give rise to home fires – In other words, don’t throw lit cigarettes away in trash cans full of paper garbage, don’t leave electric blankets plugged in for extended periods of time, etc. It can be helpful to go over some of these risky behaviors with kids so that they understand what actions can contribute to potentially deadly home fires.
- Have an escape plan ready just in case – Make sure that you and everyone in your home/family understand what to do if a home fire breaks out, including the fastest ways to get out of the home and the numbers to call ASAP for help.
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1: According to the NFPA