Fire safety

Does your family have an escape plan?
Fire safety

After you change batteries in your smoke alarms, test the alarms.

The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most families are asleep. And when a home fire occurs, families have very little time to get out. A working smoke alarm doubles chances of survival, yet more than 20 percent of American homes are without them. The following are recommendations and tips for keeping your family and home safe from fire.

Install alarms, know exit routes

On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. Installing smoke alarms on every level of the home and developing an escape plan can give your family precious minutes.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home and sketch exit routes out of every room.
  • Make sure you have a fire escape ladder long enough to reach the ground from upstairs rooms.
  • Assign an outside meeting place to quickly locate each other.

Safety, by room

Check your rooms using this information.

Bedrooms

  • Do not trap electrical cords against walls. Heat can build up, posing a fire hazard.
  • Use only lab-approved electric blankets and warmers. Make sure cords are not worn or coming apart. Do not leave electric blankets switched on all night unless they are marked "suitable for all night use."
  • Keep bedding, curtains and other combustible items at least three feet away from space heaters.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. By law, mattresses made since then are required to be safer.
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  • Candles are responsible for almost 10,000 fires a year. A flameless wax candle can provide a realistic flicker without the hazard of open flame.

Kitchen

  • Cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States.
  • Never use extension cords to plug in cooking appliances; they can overload the circuit.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Keep flammable items away from the cooktop.
  • Keep the cooktop, burners and oven clean.
  • Have a fire extinguisher installed in or near your kitchen.

Garage

  • Store all combustible materials in clearly marked containers away from regular sources of heat, such as water heaters, space heaters, boilers and furnaces.
  • Keep flammable products in a dedicated storage container with a closed door.
  • Get rid of stacked boxes, recycling and trash.

Find more fire safety information at www.Energizer.com.

—Family Features.com

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