If you live in the suburbs, you don't have the luxury of having the kind of fire escapes you see outside New York condos, meaning you have to come up with a way to get out of your house safely on your own.
Home fire safety is one of those things that seems to be always on the back of your mind, but you never really get around to doing it. You might want to start. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 84 percent of civilian fire deaths occur in the home.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your home is the safest it can be and that you have a plan for getting out in case of a fire.
- Plan a family night where you talk with the kids about the importance of fire safety and what they can do to help out. Come up with a fire plan — where each child should go and do in case they see or smell smoke or know of a fire.
- Get your home electrical wiring checked periodically, especially if you own a home older than 30 years.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least every six months. Daylight Saving Time is an easy way to remember when to change them. If you've lived in your home more than five years and you've never changed out your smoke detectors, take care of that, too, since you have no way of knowing how old they are.
- Never leave space heaters or other similar devices on at night or when you're gone from the home. These types of items greatly increase your risk for fire damage in the home, and your chances of getting out in time are worse if it's the middle of the night.