Nearly 60% of home fire deaths between 2007 and 2011 were the result of fires in homes that either had no working smoke alarm or no smoke alarm at all according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). However, the presence of working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. That’s why Delaware Safe Kids joined partners The Delaware State Fire School and fire companies nationwide in promoting the use of working smoke alarms during National Fire Prevention Week from October 5 through 11. The Delaware State Fire School marked the week by sharing information about the importance of having working smoke alarms and not only developing but also practicing an escape plan.
When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. One-third (32%) of people surveyed thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. You need working smoke alarms to give you more time to get out.
– Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area, as well as on every level of the home, including the basement.
– It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
– Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it.
– Know at least two ways out of every room.
– Have an outside meeting place (like a tree or light post) that is a safe distance away from your house for everyone to meet.
– Practice your home drill at least twice a year – during both the day – and night time!
– Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
A variety of resources are available on the NFPA website at http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week. For more information on all child safety topics please follow Safe Kids Delaware on Twitter – @safekidsde and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/safekidsdelaware.