Learn the Sounds of Safety
October is Fire Prevention Month and this year we want to remind everyone to Learn the Sounds of Safety. Knowing what to do in a fire emergency could mean the difference between life and death. Smoke alarms are the number one way to safely notify you of an impeding emergency. As per current code standards, a smoke alarm unit should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home including the basement. But installing the alarms is only the beginning.
As a tool used only in case of emergency, it’s easy to accidentally forget to perform regular maintenance on your smoke alarm. At the same time, unless you’re doing regular tests, the first time you find out it’s not working might also be your last. Whether battery operated or hard-wired with battery back up, test your alarms every month and change the batteries twice a year to make sure they work correctly when you need them the most. In addition, smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years, regardless of use, to maintain the safest of operation.
Make sure every person in your home understands the sound your alarms make and what to do when they go off.
Hear a beep, get on your feet! A continuous set of loud beeps means smoke, fire or carbon monoxide. Leave the building immediately, get outside and
Hear a chirp, make a change! A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means that the battery is low and must be replaced. Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means that the alarm is at the end of its life and the entire alarm unit must be replaced with a new one.
Create and practice a safe escape plan with your family. Knowing the safest routes from each room in your home can help alleviate some of the panic experienced during an emergency. Practice the plan at least twice a year, utilizing day and night time drills so you know what to do in any situation.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has provided a Home Safety Action Plan tip sheet and easy to follow video for you and your family to reference to create your own plan. Follow these tips and more offered by NFPA and stay fire safe this year.