How prepared are you in case of emergency? Does your family know what to do, too? Nobody wants to experience a fire, but everybody should be prepared for one. National Fire Prevention Week is the second week in October - use this time to teach your kids about fire safety and set up a plan in case of an emergency.
Imagine that it’s morningtime before school. You are rushing around packing the kids’ lunches and trying to convince your youngest child to brush their teeth. Your teenager decides to make a toaster pastry for breakfast. However, when they pop the pastry into the toaster, they don’t move the toaster away from the wall and roll of paper towels like you taught them to. The pastry seems to be taking longer than normal, but your teen thinks nothing of it. While you’re in the other room, the toaster bursts into flames, taking the too-close paper towel roll with it.
Does your child know what to do? While a toaster malfunctioning and catching on fire is rare, your child should know what to do in case it happens when they are at home alone. Teach your child how to distinguish between different types of fires and how to extinguish them, especially if they are just learning how to cook.
Whenever you see a fire, your first instinct may be to douse it with water - while this technique works for some fires, it can actually make other kinds worse! Electrical fires and grease fires actually become more dangerous when wet. Water poured on an electrical fire can conduct the electrical current, increasing your chance of getting shocked. Instead, unplug the appliance and use a class C fire extinguisher to smother the fire.
Because grease and water don’t mix, pouring water on a grease fire can actually make the fire spread more quickly, as the burning grease floats on top of the spreading water. Don’t add fuel to the fire! Put a grease fire out with salt or baking soda, contain it with a metal lid or pan, or spray it with a class B fire extinguisher, depending on the size of the fire.
Besides knowing what to do in case of a fire, your family should consider creating a family safety plan. This plan can keep you safe in any sort of natural disaster or emergency and is a great safety tool for younger kids. All you need to do is map out the safest way for everyone to get out of the house in case of emergency and pick a place to meet afterwards. Your meeting place should be a safe distance away from your home in case of a large house fire. Your safety plan is most effective if every member of the family knows the best way to get out of each room in your house, not just out of their bedroom. Don’t forget to practice your fire escape plan a few times per year to make sure nobody forgets!
This month, take the time to check your smoke detectors to make sure they don’t need new batteries. A smoke detector can save your life. While you are checking your smoke detectors, check the carbon monoxide detectors! Carbon monoxide is a flammable gas and can also cause severe confusion, dull headaches, weakness and dizziness, and even death with exposure to high levels. Make it a habit to check on these two important safety features at once and check it a couple of times throughout the year. A great rule of thumb is to check it during Daylight savings when you’re changing all of your clocks.
For added protection in your home, consider installing or upgrading to a dual security system - these systems guard against both fire and burglary. Installing one of these systems in your house will give you peace of mind and increase the safety of you and your family. Give us a call to learn more about how a security system can benefit you and your family.
Knowing what to do in case of an emergency can save lives. Keeping calm instead of panicking is a very valuable skill and one that you can gain by being prepared. Be confident that you and your family have the skills and preparedness to make it through any emergency situation!