Fire Prevention Week – Every Second Counts!
Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, and it’s a great time for everyone to re-familiarize themselves with fire safety tips that could save their lives. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme is “Every Second Counts – Plan 2 Ways Out.”
It is highly advised to have an Annual Chimney Cleaning to be sure that any creosote or obstructions (animal nests) are removed from your chimney. Prior to using your stove or fireplace each season please get a full Chimney Inspection which will assure you that the entire system is in good working order.
Most of us will never experience a house fire. But if one does strike our home, we’ll have a far better chance of surviving if we bear in mind these tips from NFPA.
Every second counts. A fire can move through a home a lot faster than we realize. For this reason, at the first sign of a fire that you can’t quickly put out, you need to move into rapid action in accord with your escape plan (see below).
Two escape routes. Create a map of the floorplan of your home, and designate two escape routes in every room. Make sure everyone who lives in your house is very familiar with every escape route. You don’t want to have to try to remember how to escape after a fire has started.
Upstairs windows. The best device to escape a fire through a window in a home with two or more stories is a rope ladder. You can buy these devices pre-made – don’t try to make one yourself. They hook over the windowsill and allow swift and safe escape from the home.
Conduct regular fire drills. You should have a fire drill twice a year that includes everybody who lives in your house. Have one of the drills during the day, the other at night. You can do several drills one after the other and time them. The goal of each drill is for everyone to follow all the correct safety and evacuation protocols that you’ve laid down. Ensure that everyone knows what to do and does it fast.
When kids are alone. If young people are ever alone in your home for any length of time, teach them how to escape a fire without the assistance of an adult. Not only teach them, but have them go through the drill to show you that they can use the information.
Moving through the house in a fire. As you move toward safety through the house during a fire, remember to close all doors behind you. This can help to discourage fire, smoke and heat from spreading.
Once outside, stay put. Never, under any circumstance, go back inside a house where a fire is burning. Even if the fire wasn’t extensive when you left, it may be raging when you return, so stay put in a safe place.
Make it easy on rescuers. If you’re able to call 911, try to stay calm, and clearly explain what is happening while answering any questions the operator has for you. In front of your house, make sure the house number is clearly marked and visible from the curb for fire personnel.
Chimney Specialists of Highland, Wis., wants you to be safe in your own home. One way we help is with thorough chimney cleaning services along with inspection, maintenance and repair of all fireplace systems. Step up to the safe side by calling (608) 929-4887.