Fire Safety: Preparing Your New Home, Preparing Your Family

Fire Safety: Preparing Your New Home, Preparing Your Family
Have you just purchased a new home?  Are you moving into your dream house?  Did the home you are buying meet your needs, standards, and expectations; passing the home inspection?  Do you think that you are ready to move in, unpacking your boxes, and establishing your new home?  Are your smoke detectors working properly, in the right locations, and does your family have a plan in case a fire happens in your home?

The final question asked is probably not one that comes readily to mind for a new homeowner but should be on the top of one’s to do list in making your new home complete, safe, and comfortable.  Putting our belongings in your new home, establishing their place and location is priority.  Securing a properly working smoke detector is as equal a priority as making sure your big screen TV is securely mounted on the wall.

In installing your smoke detectors, be sure to have one in each bedroom, outside of each sleeping area, and on each floor of your home, including the attic and basement.  Smoke detectors should be securely fitted to the ceiling or high on the walls.  Detectors should be at least 10 feet away from a kitchen, so as not to signal a false alarm, and away from windows, doors, or ducts that may interfere with proper functioning.  Remember to test detectors once a month and replace batteries every 6 months.  A good reminder is November and April, during daylight savings time changes; “change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries”.

Mapping out locations of fire alarms may also help in creating a family escape plan in the event of a fire.  All family members should be aware of what to do, where to go, who to call in case a fire breaks out in the home.  Various scenarios should be considered, including a fire at night when everyone is sleeping in their bedrooms, or throughout other times of the day where family members may be dispersed in and on varying levels of the home.  Practice the escape route and encourage reviews of the plan.  Enlist the help of friends and neighbors, to raise neighborhood awareness and comfort and ease in what could be a frightening situation.

Other tips to consider in case of a fire include closing doors as this may help to slow the spread of a fire.  Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.   There are smoke detectors that are specialized for those who are hard of hearing; some are interconnected, when one goes off, the others also alarm.  When in doubt, recruit the help of your local fire department.

Moving into a new home should be fun, exciting, and hopeful for the future.  Ease any worries by being prepared and properly securing your home with the tools to keep your home and family, valuable assets, safe and enjoying life.


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