October means Halloween, football and beautiful foliage. It’s also National Fire Safety Month. On average, fires cause 3000 deaths and 15000 injuries in the US each year. According the CDC, children four and under are particularly susceptible to fire-related injuries and deaths. You can help your children understand the importance of fire safety through drills, talks and safety tips.
Here at Mister Spark, we want to remind you of the best ways to keep your home safe so that the fires in your home are confined to the chimney on chilly autumn nights.
Your Safety Starts with Working Smoke Detectors
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends changing batteries at least once a year and replacing smoke alarms every 10 years. With children in the house and for your own peace of mind, play it even safer and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries at least twice a year.
Not only is it important to have working smoke detectors in your home, but it’s also important to have the correct amount to stay up to safety codes. Homes should have smoke detectors installed inside every bedroom, one outside of every sleeping area and one on every level of your home, including the basement. Make sure your home is up to code and call the experts at Mister Sparky to install them.
Set a Replacement Schedule
The easiest way to keep track of when to change the batteries, is to follow the time change schedule. Replace the batteries with each Daylight Saving Time switch.
When you spring forward and fall backward, install new batteries in every smoke and carbon monoxide detector around your home. This will give your detectors fresh batteries twice a year and ready for the changing seasons.
The batteries you take out of the detectors can be used in your remote controls or child’s toys so you’re not throwing away batteries that may still have some life in them.
Set a Testing Schedule
It’s important to test each detector monthly. If this seems like a lot to keep track of, mark it on your smartphone’s calendar (or your family’s wall calendar) of the day for the next 12 months that you’ll be testing on.
A 2014 report from the NFPA said that nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths between 2007 and 2011 occurred because the homes had smoke alarms that didn’t work. In nearly half, the smoke alarm’s batteries were disconnected or missing and 24% had dead batteries. As tempting as it is to disconnect the battery when burnt toast sets it off, open windows to clear the room but leave your smoke detector alone.
By setting up a testing schedule, you’ll be able to verify the batteries are installed, connectors are working properly and the alarm is loud enough. Mark your calendar and stick to your testing schedule.
Don’t Forget Hardwired Smoke Detectors
If your house has a security system, you may have hardwired smoke detectors that are tied into your system. Most alarm companies recommend you test your burglar alarm once a month. This is a good time to test your alarm system’s smoke detector too.
Ask your alarm company for recommendations on how to test your particular smoke detector. Be sure your system is in “test mode” before you set the alarm off. Otherwise, the fire and police departments may show up at your house thinking you have an emergency.
Review Your Home Fire Safety Plan
Run through your family’s fire safety plan at least twice a year when you’re changing the batteries. Or review monthly when you’re testing your detectors. If you don’t have one in place, print out Mister Sparky’s Home_Safety_Checklist and Fire_Plan here.
Hold home fire drills to make sure everyone in your family knows how to get out of the house in case there’s a fire.
Reminding your kids about your family’s fire safety tips ensures they know exactly what to do if an alarm ever goes off. Reviewing the drills is especially helpful for younger children who need their memories refreshed more often.
Fire safety is very important to review and stay up to date with. Keep your family safe with these simple steps and remember to call the electrical professionals at Mister Sparky if you’re ever unsure about something or need something installed like a new smoke detector.
Mister Sparky Electrician Houston, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves Houston, Texas and the cities of Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress, Spring, The Woodlands and others with a team of certified electricians. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at: (281) 907-8418.