A home fire can strike without warning, day or night. A home fire is not subject to a particular season of the year. Are you prepared if a home fire happened in your Brooklyn home? If not, you can be!
October is National Fire Prevention Month, so I visited RedCross.org. I found 3 sad home fire statistics:
- On average 7 people die every day from a home fire.
- On average 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.
- Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year.
RedCross.org also states that if a home fire starts in your Brooklyn home, you have only 2 minutes to escape. Can your family safely escape a fire in your home in just 2 minutes? Find out. Religiously implementing the following two steps will keep your family safe if a home fire happens to you:
- Plan and practice a 2-minute fire drill with your family twice every year. Knowing and practicing your home fire escape plan regularly can save your lives.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, in every bedroom and outside every bedroom. Your children need to hear what a smoke alarm sounds like. They should know what to do when a smoke alarm goes off.
Test your home’s smoke alarms every month. Sixty percent of home fire deaths happen in homes that have no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that do not work. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and never disabled.
Carbon monoxide alarms do not replace smoke alarms. Your home should have both carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. Your family should know the difference between the sounds of each.
My blog post 7 Basics of Home Fire Safety in Brooklyn was written when Brooklyn suffered a great tragedy in March, 2015. It reiterates much of what is mentioned here.
Preparation for the possibility of a home fire in your Brooklyn home is key!
No one wants to encounter a home fire emergency ever! But your best safety measure to take is to prepare as if it were inevitable. When you’re prepared for the possibility, you and your family are less likely to become one of the sad home fire statistics listed above.
The following list is lengthy, but every point is important to prepare your family with in case of a home fire.
- Start preparing by identifying and eliminating fire hazards from your Brooklyn home.
- Items that can catch fire easily should be kept at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as a space heater or burners on a stove.
- Never, ever smoke in bed.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of your children. Talk about the dangers of fire with them on a regular basis.
- Don’t go to sleep while a portable heater is on. Turn it off when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Stay in the kitchen whenever the stove is on and/or food is frying, grilling or broiling. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the stove, even for a short period of time. Faithfully use a timer to remind you that food is cooking, simmering, baking, roasting or boiling.
- Download this Home Fire Safety Checklist.
- Delegate responsibilities to every family member in case a fire starts in your home. Teamwork is vital in an emergency. Yes, different types of fires will require different responsibilities. Discuss all the possibilities, what to do and who will do what.
- Create an escape plan. Everyone should know two ways to escape from each room in your Brooklyn home.
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice fire drills after waking everyone up to a smoke alarm.
- Drill this into everyone’s head: “If a fire occurs in our home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.”
- Tell your family to never open doors that are warm to the touch. Tell them they should use the second way out of that room. If smoke, heat or flames are blocking their way to escape, they should stay in the room with the door closed. If possible, put a wet towel under the door. Then they should call 911, open a window and wave something bright to grab someone’s attention. A flashlight should be used if the home fire strikes at night.
- Practice low crawling. A fire’s smoke is deadly and rises during a fire.
- Practice “Stop. Drop. Roll.” If clothes catch fire, stopping, dropping and rolling will smother the fire and save your life.
- Decide where you will meet once you get out of your Brooklyn home. Your immediate meeting place should be across the street away from the home fire. Have a point of refuge lined up to stay should a home fire displace you and your family.
- As soon as you get outside to your meeting place, call 911 for help.
- Time your fire drills. Remember, you have only two minutes to get out of your burning home! Practice until you get out in two minutes or less.
- Discuss and decide what to do if any of you get separated while escaping a home fire.
Don’t become a sad Brooklyn home fire statistic. Choose to be prepared just in case. I love Brooklyn and care about the safety of our community. If you have any questions about the safety of a home you own or are looking to purchase, call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or reach me by email, [email protected].