Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this post. October is Fire Prevention Month! Help ensure your home and family are ready for the unexpected by installing smoke & CO alarms and having fire extinguishers!
One week after moving into our new Las Vegas Home, I woke up to fiery red skies. To my surprise, the forest fires in California quickly swooped in and filled our air with debris. It briefly occurred to me that since we now live on the West Coast and now use gas appliances (we are used to electric) that fire safety was more important than ever. Seeing how the fires spread to Nevada really kicked me into gear and I knew that just having just a smoke detector that came installed in my home was not enough. My family needed a solid fire safety plan and there was no better to prepare and educate our bright 4- year old on what fire safety is while we created our action plan with First Alert products.
Did You Know that Fire Prevention Month is October?
In 1922, the second week of October was dubbed National Fire Prevention Week in honor of the 1871 Chicago fires. Since then, they have dedicated this time every year to raising fire safety awareness across the United States. I don’t know about you but if this year has taught me anything, it’s to always be prepared for the unexpected. So, last week; we dedicated the day to create a fire safety plan and gathered the tools needed to prepare our home for the unexpected with First Alert.
We are no stranger to preparation and natural disasters. We’ve lived all over in the Military from Florida’s Hurricane Zone in Miami to Tornado Alley in Missouri and Central United States. This is no different, we wanted to be ready for any emergency and encourage you to take a look at your family’s preparedness as well.
How to Prepare for A Fire Emergency?
Step 1: Gather Materials
The first step in our plan of action was to gather materials. Our home is brand new and we have a smoke detector in both upstairs and downstairs. However, you can never be too prepared. We installed an additional smoke and CO alarm. . After the install, we set a reminder to test the alarms monthly.
How to Install:
The proper way to position a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is on every level and in every bedroom in the house. In addition, it should be replaced every 10 years for maximum effectiveness as well as changing the battery every 6 months. If you upgrade to a First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with a 10-Year Sealed Battery, you can eliminate the need to change them. The best way to note this in your plan or make a mental note is “Every level, every bedroom” and write down the date that you checked it last. Unfortunately, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or ones that don’t work properly (Source: National Fire Protection Association).
Additionally, we added a First Alert Home Fire Extinguisher to our home. It easily fits into kitchen cabinets or in the garage organizer. It’s also lightweight and rechargeable. Ideally, having an upstairs and downstairs home should have an extinguisher for each level. This is something that I have overlooked in the past but it’s more important to me now than ever since we have a gas stove in our home.
The #1 cause of a fire is unattended cooking and we all know how easy it can be to get distracted. I decided on a location in my cabinet that is easily accessible in case of emergency and plan to add one to our laundry room upstairs as well.
Do You know how to use a fire extinguisher properly? The easiest way to remember is using the P.A.S.S acronym.
P- Pull the Pin
A- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
S- Squeeze the Trigger
S- Sweep from side to side
Step 2: Create A Plan
Create a fire safety plan and checklist. When we lived in Miami, our plans for hurricane evacuation and supplies went into effect during hurricane season seamlessly. Fires are a bit different, you never know how and when an emergency like this could appear. That’s why it’s important to have a plan year-round and readily accessible. In our home, each member of the family knows where our exits are as well as multi-use tools to break out a window if necessary. This is also the first time that we have lived in a two-story home and that makes the planning process all the more necessary. It is good housekeeping to gather the family for a meeting twice- a- year (even the little ones) to discuss fire safety and your action plan for if a fire happens.
Children should know where their designated family meeting spot is outside, how to dial 911 for help and to always get out and stay out of a house during a fire. Our maintenance guy stopped by and let us know that we actually have a firewall and door in our house downstairs. That was great information to have about our home. Be sure to check home documents to know those facts about your home as well.
Hopefully, this post encouraged you to think about your home and family’s safety and how you can be better prepared for a fire. The fires out West have really been a wake- up call for us and we are now more prepared than ever. If you’re looking to secure your home, you can find First Alert Fire Safety products at your local Lowe’s.