Fire Safety Tips
By HiLine Hal
In years past, fire officials have always advised families to change their smoke detector batteries twice each year. They recommended changing your batteries at the same time you changed your clock for daylight savings time. It’s just an easy way to remember. While batteries and smoke detectors have evolved, the recommendation from fire officials remains the same. As we come up on this season’s time change, please take the time to change those batteries and consider these fire safety tips.
Smoke detectors are a vital part of your family’s fire safety strategy. Smoke detectors should be installed inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area, and on each level of your home. If your home is being built today, there are building codes that ensure correct placement. Your HiLine home not only follows these codes but also incorporates an interconnected smoke alarm system so if one alarm goes off, they all go off. This will help ensure an early warning so your family can get out of your home safely, in the unlikely event of a fire.
Some fire departments recommend testing your smoke detectors once every month, but at the very least, testing them twice each year is imperative. While you test them, it gives you a chance to inspect for lint and dust build-up. A clean, clear sensor is needed for proper operation. The National Fire Protection Association, recommends replacing your smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. Smoke alarms are inexpensive devices that have been proven to save lives in the event of a fire, so take the time to make sure they are working properly.
Another important part of fire safety awareness is planning ahead. What will you do if a fire breaks out? Especially if you have just moved into a new home, it is important to create a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home and identify different ways to escape from each room. Then, not only discuss this plan with your family but practice it with a fire drill. Have family members take an escape route and then meet outside at a predetermined location. As you develop your plan, make note of any items you may need, such as an escape ladder in a second-story bedroom or a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Be prepared and get out quickly, before a fire becomes life-threatening, and then call the fire department from outside your home.
Take advantage of this time of year to revisit your fire preparedness. Check your smoke alarms and discuss your escape plan with your family. If you need a floor plan of your HiLine Home to draw up an escape map, contact your local HiLine office and ask us for a copy.
For more information about fire safety, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education.