Wednesday, October 12, 2011
October is full of fun activites -- pumpkin carving, apple picking, trick or treating -- but amidst all the festivities it's important to remember that October is also National Fire Prevention Month. A big part of prevention is education, so safety company First Alert is conducting a consumer education campaign to help Americans develop a family escape plan in case of a fire or other emergency. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends planning an emergency escape route and practicing it twice annually, but according to a survey conducted by First Alert, more than half (51 percent) of Americans with escape plans have never practiced it.
Here are some tips from First Alert and the NFPA for developing an effective fire escape plan:
* Involve everyone in your household in developing a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Make sure everyone in the home understands the plan.
* Install smoke alarms throughout the home and test them monthly. Change batteries every six months to ensure proper function.
* Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped.
* Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.
* Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.
You should aim to practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year, making drills as realistic as possible. Once your kids are familiar with the routine, you might even want to practice the drill at night.
A key factor in these drills is figuring out whether you and your kids can easily wake up to the sound of smoke alarms. If someone does fail to wake up, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up. Another option is switching to voice-enabled alarms such as the new Child Awakening Alarm from First Alert. Studies have shown that children ages six to 10 are awakened more readily by voice smoke alarm than a standard beeping alarm -- and from our experience, that's absolutely true. Our smoke alarm has gone off in the night several times, and my kids have never woken up! So we were really glad when First Alert sent us a voice smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. It has voice technology that actually tells you the type and location of danger!
Win a First Alert Voice Combination Alarm
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a Voice Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm from First Alert.
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This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on October 28, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on October 29 and post their name after confirming acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm from First Alert as a thank-you for providing these tips and hosting the giveaway. Product information and tips are provided by First Alert and are indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.