October is Fire Safety Month. Every year O’Connor Insurance provides fire prevention tips on our social media, shared with our clients through our blog and newsletter and through community events we participate in. We have had countless clients experience fires in their homes and businesses. The aftermath is ugly. Making sure your family is safe is the number one priority. The 2018 National Fire Protection Association theme is Look. Listen. Learn.
Look for places fires can start. This means being diligent in your home to make sure you are removing fire hazards each and every day. This pic is of an almost brand new power strip. It was in my son’s room. One night my dog woke me up whining in the middle of the night. She was sleeping in my son’s room. I went in the room checked on her and my son and went back to bed. She whined a few more times. Finally, I thought I better take her out she never wakes me up like this maybe she has an emergency. After that she went into my room and we all went back to sleep. I should mention at this point I have a nose like a blood hound. I mean I can smell my son’s dirty socks 2 floors away. Next morning I go in my son’s room to wake him and there is an overwhelming electrical smell. I frantically start going to each outlet unplugging things when I come to this plug. It was smoldering. The dog no doubt smelled it but at that point I did not. Thankfully it had shut itself off but because it was still plugged in I have no doubt it would have caught fire if I would not have been home. A fish tank had leaked and I believe it might have gotten wet and we didn’t know about it. Please be diligent in your home and look for places fires could start.
Listen for the sound of the alarm. Three of every fire home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with NO SMOKE detectors or NO WORKING SMOKE DETECTORS. You think just because you can see them on the ceiling they are operational. Maybe you think just because they are hard wired they won’t fail. Smoke detectors need checked monthly to be sure they are working. Twice a year replace batteries in the ones that have them. Every 7-10 years replace the smoke detectors. They will start to lose effectiveness. When every second counts in getting out of your house in a fire you need a strong loud warning.
Learn two ways out of every room. Have you ever done a fire drill with your family? Start by making a plan. This great graph will help you. Below are two videos that are a MUST watch. The first one is how to create a family fire plan. The second one is a very scary video. It is a few years old (2008) but focus on what actually happens when the Today Show put a family to the test to see how long it takes them to get out of the house.
Fires are scary and ugly business. We hope your family never experiences one but if you do we want you to get all your loved ones out safely.