Simple Fire Safety Tips Save Lives

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A house fire at any time can put the lives of you and your family in jeopardy. Yet, Fire experts say you can dramatically reduce the deadly effects of a potential fire with just a few safety tips. Here's how to make sure you're prepared in the event that a disaster does strike:

  1. Make sure your house number is visible from the street so emergency vehicles can find you. Consider using over sized reflective or illuminated numbers at the curb, preferably next to your mail box.
  2. Install smoke detectors in places where they will activate in time for your to save yourself and family. This is usually within a foot of the ceiling. Make sure they are tested monthly by pressing the "test" button, and replace batteries at least once a year. Don't rely on the alarm to make an intermittent "beep" to change batteries.
  3. Create a fire escape plan with an emergency route for each family member's bedroom. If bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, purchase a simple chain ladder for escape from windows. Arrange for a safe family meeting place outside the home in the event of fire. This way, you'll know instantly which family members are accounted for.
  4. Place an adequately sized fire extinguisher near the kitchen area of your home. Also place one at the opposite end of the home. Most homes use undersized extinguishers. Even if a small fire breaks out, you'll want all the suppression you can get.
  5. Remove all weeds, tree branches, leaves and litter away from the perimeter of your home. Put a screen on your fireplace and keep it closed at all times. It's best to sleep with your bedroom door closed to give yourself more time to escape in case of a fire. And teach your children what to do if their clothes catch fire: Stop, Drop, and Roll.