The information below has been provided and reproduced with permission from the American Red Cross. The Red Cross has informational and educational brochures and documents available on many topics including fire safety and preventing carbon monoxide poising. They also have many documents to help educate children on the importance of safety during disasters. Visit their website for more information.
How can I make my home or building fire safe?
- Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside any sleeping areas and on each additional level of your home or building.
- If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas too.
- Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
- Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
- Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
- Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home or building. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.
- Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
What’s the best way to plan an escape route?
- Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home or building,
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
- Elect a location outside your home where everyone will meet after escaping.
How can I safely escape a building fire?
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department from an adjacent home or building.
- If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
- If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
- If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.