Make your home Fire Safe - here are some tips:
- Change your smoke detectors - and CO detectors - batteries yearly. We suggest on the day of Fall daylight savings time.
- Have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen - hanging on a wall in visible sight.
- Have an emergency fire escape plan - practice it annually.
- Be prepared: Send one family member to the FF1 school and of course, have them join the Annandale Hose Company. Click here to join.
- Send a generous contribution to the Annandale Hose Company. Remember, a financially sound fire department is a dependable fire department.
Working Smoke Alarms Are a Must
About three out of five fire deaths happen in homes without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan providing early warning to reduce your risk of dying in a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends you:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas on the ceiling or high on the wall
- Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen, at least 10 feet from the stove, to reduce false alarms
- Use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers for people who are hard of hearing or deaf
- Test smoke alarms monthly
- Replace batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector annually
- Replace smoke alarms that are 10 or more years old
Make an Escape Plan
A home fire is reported every 88 seconds. Once the smoke alarm sounds, a fire can spread quickly, leaving only a minute or two to escape. That's why it's so important to have a home escape plan.
Start by drawing a map for your home and follow these guidelines from the NFPA:
- Plan two ways to escape from each room
- Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
- Identify secondary routes: a window onto an adjacent roof or a collapsible ladder from a second-floor window
- If you live in a multi-story building, plan to use the stairs – never the elevator
- Designate an outside meeting place a safe distance from the house
Now Practice Your Home Fire Escape Plan
Everyone – including children – need to know your family escape plan. The National Fire Protection Association indicates 71% of Americans have a home fire escape plan but only 47% have practiced it. Practice your fire drill with everyone in the house at night and during the day, twice a year. Remember to:
- Practice getting out with eyes closed, crawling low to the floor and keeping your mouth covered
- Practice closing doors behind you
- Practice how to “stop, drop and roll” if your clothes catch on fire
- Practice testing door handles to see if they are hot before opening them
- Teach children never to hide and how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them
When and How to Use Fire Extinguisher
Always put your safety first; if you are not confident in your ability to use a fire extinguisher, get out and call 9-1-1. The American Red Cross cautions you to evaluate the situation and ensure:
- Everyone has left or is leaving the home
- The fire department has been called
- The fire is small, not spreading, and there is not much smoke
- Your back is to an exit you can use quickly
- You remember the acronym PASS:
Pull the pin.
Aim low at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle slowly.
Sweep the nozzle side to side.