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Surviving A Fire Event PDF Print E-mail
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Written by J. Reaves   
Friday, 25 October 2013 07:55

Previously this month we have discussed a couple of the most common and causes of house fires, and the some ways to help prevent them. There are many things each of us can do to make our homes and daily lives safer from a fire, whether it be with cooking, space heaters, or any other array of potential ignition sources. However, at the end of the day, fire is another force of nature, and as Little Axe and all Oklahomans are well aware, sometimes even our best efforts cannot prevent nature from taking its toll. That is why it is vital to have a warning system, and a plan of action when that warning sounds. You can check your preparedness for a fire in your home by asking yourself and your family these questions:

  • Do I have smoke detectors in my home?
    • Are they less than 10 years old?
    • Have I changed the batteries in the last 6 months?
    • Is there a smoke detector in each bedroom, in hall areas, and in living rooms? At minimum is there one on each floor of my home?
    • Have I tested them this week, or even this month?

 

  • When the alarm sounds what do I (we) do?
    • Where are my exits? What will I do if my first choice of exit is blocked?
    • Do my children know how to get out? What will they do if their normal route of exit is blocked?
    • If you have someone with a disability physical or otherwise, how will they get out? Do they know what to do?
    • What do I do in a smoke filled room?
    • Do we have a rally point at a safe place outside?

 

How did you answer these questions?  If well prepared, your answers should sound something like this. Smoke detectors should be in every bedroom, hallway, and living/rec room of your home. They should be less than 10 years old, with batteries less than 6 months old.  They should be tested weekly at best, monthly at the very least. If you have current smoke detectors in your home, check the back to see how old they are. please note that many manufactured homes that I have installed smoke detectors in are pre-equipped with smoke detectors, particularly those built in the 80's and 90's. Yes, this means those smoke detectors are probably as old as your home. It should also be noted that these smoke detectors are often not sufficient coverage in manufactured homes, due to their age and placement. if you live in a manufactured home, the current NFPA guideline is to have a smoke detector in every room except your bathroom.

When the alarm sounds were you ready? Your home safety plan should contain a means of evacuation from every room in your house, with emphasis on bedrooms. Walk through this scenario in your own home with your family.  Know where all of your exits. In the event of an emergency many people, particularly children and elderly, seek to exit through the entrance they use daily. If that is blocked they may panic. That is why it is important to be sure you know where your other doors are at. If you cannot get to a door, a window will make an emergency exit, but should not be your first choice of exit. Remember to check a closed door with the back of your hand. if it is hot to touch find another route.  Keep in mind that smoke rises, so staying low to the ground will help you see and breathe easier. Once you are outside you should have an established rally point  where all family members should meet in the event of evacuation. This point should be well away from the house. Discuss evacuation plans regularly in your home, even conducting fire drills.

Remember above all that YOUR safety is the most important thing. If your home is on fire get out, call 911, and stay out.

If you are in need of new smoke detectors, or have any questions about your homes preparedness, contact the Little Axe Fire Department. We offer free whole house installation of smoke detectors, including units for the hearing impaired, by our trained and professional firefighters. When we come to your home we will also help you to asses your fire safety plan, and answer any questions you may have. Currently you will see a contact us link at the top right of this page that you can use to contact us. Just use this link and provide us your name, a working phone number, and the address you would like us to come to, and one of our firefighters will contact you to set up an appointment.

 
 
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