Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this post. October is Fire Prevention Month – practice safety in numbers to ensure your family’s super prepared too!
Last spring, my daughter came home from preschool wearing a fire hat, and excitedly told us how she got to meet real firefighters, see a fire truck up close, and most importantly, learn more about fire safety. We have always been as prepared as possible for a fire or home emergency, but her newfound interest inspired us to really amp things up and make sure our entire family was regularly involved in discussing and learning about ways to make sure we’re not just prepared, but super prepared.
With October being Fire Prevention Month, I thought it was the perfect time to share with you guys the things we do in our own home and as a family to protect ourselves from fire.
1. Get the whole family involved. I’m putting this one first because it is so important! Even though our babes are little (2 and 4), we make sure to include them in the different aspects of whole home safety. We try to make them a part of as many of the 10 tips I’m sharing here as possible. There is truly safety in numbers when it comes to whole home safety.
2. Plan escape routes. My husband and I planned escape routes as soon as we moved into our home, but we recently pulled everyone in the family together and went over them again with the little ones present, discussing how and why we chose the escape routes we did. We walked through our house and talked about all of the different possible exits (including both doors and windows) and the best ways to get to the exits. We also drew out “fire escape treasure maps” as our daughter calls them (floor plans).
3. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home. This includes the basement if you have one, as well as an alarm both inside and outside of every bedroom (and/or sleeping area). Fires spread fast, and an alarm is one of the best ways to get an early warning. Both of our kids know where the smoke detectors are in our home and what to do if one goes off.
4. Make sure alarms are up to date and working. When we first moved into our home, we noticed that the smoke detectors were over 15 years old, and one of the first things we did was replace them with First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms. It is important to replace alarms every 5 to 10 years, and to either replace the batteries every 6 months or upgrade to First Alert’s 10-year sealed battery alarms. We also regularly test our alarms to ensure they’re working properly.
5. Choose a meeting place outside. Our whole family knows that in case of fire or other emergency, once outside we meet at our mail box at the end of our driveway. It is important to decide on a common place outside that is a safe distance from your home where every family member will immediately go.
6. Practice your escape. Every few months, we have pretend fire escape and practice the different escape plans we developed in our home. And when they get a little older (and are less easily frightened), we will have true fire drills, including during the night.
7. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to call 911. Our daughter took a safety class over the summer that taught everything from how to deal with strangers to what to do in case of a fire. She also learned how to call 911, but didn’t understand how to do it from a locked cell phone. We made sure to teach her how to do this, while also making certain she understood that you never call 911 unless it’s a true emergency. As soon as we feel that our 2 year old can comprehend it, we will teach him as well.
8. Have working fire extinguishers. We (obviously) keep these out of reach of our kids, but they know where they are an how they work. We live in a 2 story home and have 3 (one on each level including the basement).
9. Protect again carbon monoxide too. I mentioned in #3 above that it’s important to have fire and carbon monoxide alarms on every level, but 40% of homes do not have a single CO alarm. In the United States, carbon monoxide is actually the #1 cause of accidental deaths, and it cannot be seen, heard, or smelled. That’s pretty scary. We have First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms installed throughout our home so we’re protected against both fire and CO.
10. Talk about it. No matter how hectic things are or how busy our days are, we always have dinner at the table as a family, and we take that time to talk about things that involve us a family. We make sure to discuss fire and overall home safety a couple of times a month at dinner, so our little ones remain aware of its importance. As I said in my first tip, there is safety in numbers when it come to being super prepared in the case of fire. It is a truly a family affair!
For Fire Prevention Month (and all year long!), First Alert and its Super Prepared Family want to make sure your family is super prepared when it comes to whole home safety. You can learn more in the video below and at this link.
If there are other ways you and your family prepare yourselves in case of fire or other home emergency, please share in the comments!
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