October is National Fire Safety Month so it’s a good time to review a fire safety check list and help educate your children on the dangers of fire and fire prevention.
The following are a few tips to make your home and your children safer from fire:
- Install and properly maintain smoke detectors in your home. These should be placed on each floor level, outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom. Test the smoke alarm each month, replace the battery at least once a year and replace the smoke alarm every ten years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Create a fire escape plan for your family and stage some mock fire drills. Review this plan with your children on a regular basis. Establish a designated meeting place outside the home, preferably at a neighbor’s who can call 911. Make sure they understand that once they are safely outside they should never go back into the house for anything!
- Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire. Also, demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground and roll if their clothes catch on fire.
- Have a portable fire extinguisher easily accessible to spaces with higher fire hazards such as the kitchen and fireplace.
- Ensure that extension cords are UL-listed and connected to a fuse. Do not connect one extension cord to another.
- Electrical outlets are designed for a certain amount of power demand. The use of multiple outlet extension cords can easily overload a circuit.
- Fire prevention safety is never placing a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials and remove them entirely from children’s bedrooms. Children may play with lamps or place combustibles such as stuffed toys or clothing too close to the bulb.
- Do not leave children alone around open flames, stoves or candles.
- Keep matches, gasoline, lighters, paint thinners and other flammable materials out of children’s reach, away from sources of heat and outside of the home.
- Make sure space heaters include a tip-over switch that shuts it off automatically if it accidentally turns over. Keep them off of carpeting and at least three feet from draperies, blankets and sofas.