When there is a time to enjoy your favorite holiday traditions, celebrating around the table, and making new memories with friends and family. To ensure that the festivities are both happy and safe, here are some useful holiday season fire safety tips from QuickShipFire.
Fire safety is a fundamental consideration in building design and management, but unfortunately, one that is often overlooked—firewalls are today more likely to be associated with IT security than with physical safety.
Fire Safety Equipment
Equip your home with smoke alarms and other tools that can help you gain precious seconds in a fire.
If you have a fire, smoke alarms can cut nearly in half your risk of dying in a fire. Smoke alarms sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both Flaming fires and smoldering.
- In new homes: The National Fire Alarm Code requires hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up on every level of the home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Alarms must be wired together so that if one sounds, they all sound.
- In existing homes: If smoke alarms are not already in place, at a minimum install them on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. If a fire occurs inside a bedroom, dangerous gases can cause heavier sleep. For the best protection, install interconnected smoke alarms in each bedroom and throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- To prevent nuisance alarms, vacuum cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly. Never disable a smoke alarm, even if you experience nuisance alarms while cooking or showering. Instead, use the alarm’s “hush” button. If nuisance alarms are a persistent problem, look for a different type of smoke alarm and ensure they are installed in correct areas in the home.
- Use the test button to test your smoke alarms at least monthly. The test feature tests all electronic functions and is safer than testing with a controlled fire (matches, lighters, cigarettes).
- If the manufacturer’s instructions permit the use of an aerosol smoke product for testing the smoke alarm, choose one that has been examined and tested by a third-party product testing laboratory, and use it in accordance with the product instructions.
- If you have battery-powered smoke alarms, replace the batteries at least once a year.Some agencies recommend that you replace batteries when the time changes from standard to daylight savings each spring and then back again in the fall. Replacing batteries this often will not hurt, but fresh batteries typically last at least a year, so more frequent replacement is not necessary unless the smoke alarm begins to chirp.
- If your local area does not observe daylight savings time, pick an easy-to-remember anniversary, such as your birthday or a national holiday, as the day to change the batteries each year.
- Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) alarms at the same time you replace your smoke alarm batteries.
- Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. This is the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association. Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time.
- Be sure to install smoke alarms in areas where pets are and in other buildings that house animals where humans can hear them.
Fire Safety for Kids
A home fire is a devastating event, and one that you never count on happening. Your children are most at risk when this disaster occurs. In fact, children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. Tragically, many home fires are started by children playing with dangerous household items – especially lighters and matches. Taking sensible precautions in the home and teaching your child how to escape from a fire can help your family avoid this type of heartbreak.
Help Your Child Survive a Fire
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and where to meet up outside.
- Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside.
- Only professional firefighters should enter a building that is on fire—even if other family members, pets or prized possessions are inside.
- Use quick-release devices on barred windows and doors. Security bars without release devices can trap you in a deadly fire. If you have security bars on your windows, be sure one window in each sleeping room has a release device.
- Consider getting escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them, and store them near the windows.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires
- Extinguish Open Flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Remove Stove Knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in Flameless Candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- Secure Young Pets – keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.