Play it safe with smoke detectors

9365513051_b6ebe91207_zCan anybody tell me what the most prevalent disaster that the American Red Cross responds to? What’s that you say: hurricanes? Guess again. Floods? Sure, with what is going on in Colorado, you might think so. But the answer may surprise you: Fires are the most prevalent disaster. Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross Responds to a disaster and nearly all of these are home fires. But guess what? The greatest thing about fires is that most are preventable.

We are celebrating National Fire Safety Week this week, and right now we’re focusing on kitchen fire prevention. Kitchen fires are the most common of all home fires, and the two most important things to remember about protecting you and your family from fire is having smoke alarms and making/practicing an exit plan.

Smoke alarms must be placed on every level in the home, including the bedrooms. Make sure that the smoke alarms are in working condition and check batteries often, replacing them at least once a year. A smoke alarm is no good without a proper battery and having a working fire alarm can save your life.

Remember the good old fire drill days when you were a child in school? They taught you the plan at the beginning of the school year and then administered a practice drill. Every child was so excited to be outside of the classroom, but it was practiced for a reason. This brings us to our point for fire safety: having a plan of escape and practicing it.

Plan two escape routes from every room in your house. You cannot plan where a fire will occur, so you must plan multiple escape routes to guarantee a safe way out. After routes are determined, always plan a meeting spot. People are frantic after a disaster. If they know where to go, then you can do a head count and make sure everyone is present and safe.  The American Red Cross recommends practicing the plan at least twice a year.

-Erica Starke



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