No one wants to think about the possibility of a house fire, but if you prepare now, you and your family may be able to escape quickly and without injury. That’s time well spent!
Most families have approximately 3 minutes to safely escape a house fire. Taking the time now to prepare your family means that 3 minutes may well provide plenty of time for you and your family to get out safely.
At ABCO Restoration, we have seen the aftermath of house fires and understand the importance of fire safety planning. We know your personal safety is most important!
Our ABCO Restoration team members are experienced professionals who know how to restore your property and help you rebuild after a disaster. ABCO Restoration in Elkhart makes getting your family back to pre-loss condition after a fire, storm, or water damage our business.
It’s estimated that a small fire can escalate into a major fire in less than 60 seconds. You need as much time as possible to put your plan into action.
Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home. Be sure to place a fire alarm inside the kitchen, close to the cooking area, and inside your laundry room. Place fire alarms inside bedrooms and in hallways.
Set a reminder to test your smoke alarms monthly. Batteries should be tested and changed immediately if necessary. Smoke alarms save lives – but only if they work!
Develop a Plan
Every family member must know exactly what they should do in case of a house fire.
- Ensure that every member of the family knows two ways to escape from each room in the home. That may take some creative thinking, but put some time into developing a plan.
- If you see smoke, stay low and go! In a fire, smoke and toxic fumes cause more harm than flames. Smoke naturally rises, so if you see smoke, get as low as possible and crawl toward your designated exit.
- Check doors and doorknobs for heat before opening them. If the door or doorknob is warm to the touch, don’t open it.
- Close all doors behind you as you leave. Fires cannot burn without oxygen. Closing a door can limit the amount of oxygen available during a fire and will slow fire growth.
- Designate an outdoor meeting place. Do not slow your escape for pets or valuables. Get to the outdoor meeting place as quickly as possible.
- GET OUT FIRST – then call 911.
- Practice your plan at least twice a year. Practice your technique at least twice a year. It may be essential for families with small children to practice your plan more frequently until everyone can execute the escape plan within a two-minute time frame.
Helpful Fire Safety Ideas
If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll until you extinguish the flames. Practice this method with your children before your home fire drills.
Be sure to go over primary and secondary exits. It may be worthwhile to label these exits for small children or the elderly with picture cards.
If you hear the fire alarm, especially at night, leave your home immediately. Don’t waste time investigating. Get out safely. Then, try to determine from outside why the alarm sounded.
Change batteries in your smoke alarms every six months. Test your alarms every month by holding the “test” button for a few seconds.
Consider developing a checklist to think through a safety audit of your home. Some of these items on this checklist should include:
- Electrical Hazards
- Are extension chords not run under rugs or over hooks or nails?
- Are you careful not to overload electrical outlets?
- Is paint kept in tightly closed metal containers?
- Are oily rags kept in tightly sealed containers?
- Do you regularly clean your clothes dryer vent?
- Heating and Cooking
- Is your fireplace screen always in front of your fireplace?
- Do you periodically have your chimney and furnace cleaned?
- Are you sure to keep children away from flame and heat sources?
Other Fire Safety Tips
Call your local fire department and ask about the possibility of Free Home Safety Inspections. Some fire departments provide safety checks that include:
- Assessment of your evacuation plan
- Frequency of furnace and fireplace cleaning
- Safe storage of flammable materials
- Smoke alarm placement and functionality
- Space heater use
- Extension cord use
- Smoking habits
At ABCO Restoration, we help people find their way back to pre-loss conditions after devastating events like a fire, storm, mold, or water damage affect their homes.
Practice and prevention are the two most important ways you can help keep your family safe in the event of a fire. Knowledge is power. Develop a fire emergency plan. Talk it over with your family. Practice. Practice. Practice.
If you or someone you love should experience a fire, know that ABCO Restoration is here to help you get back to normal, one step at a time. Call us for a FREE consultation – TODAY.