Are you prepared in the event of a house fire or other emergency at your home? It is surprising how many people have never developed an emergency plan for their safety and the safety of their loved ones. To be specific, the American Red Cross estimates that only 26% of all families have taken the time to develop and practice a home fire escape plan. Another startling statistic released by the Red Cross is that 80% of Americans do not realize that fire is the most common disaster in the country.

These are some of their recommended home preparedness tips:

  • Make sure a smoke alarm is installed on every level of the house. Also, make sure there is one outside each sleeping area.
  • Test your smoke alarm batteries at least once a month.
  • Get your family together, and practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year.
  • Make sure your family knows 2 different ways to get out of the house. This will help if you were to get separated.
  • Teach your children how to use 911, but make sure they understand it is for emergencies only.
  • Teach everyone in your family the stop, drop and roll routine. Make sure they understand how to stop, drop to the ground and roll around if there clothes caught fire.
  • Designate a meeting spot outside your home in the event of a fire.
  • Do not open doors that are hot to the touch. If you are unable to get out through your emergency exits, drop to the floor and call the fire department to alert them to your location in the house.

Your family’s safety is up to you. It is a big responsibility, and people need to take the bull by the horns. If you ever have any questions, call your local Red Cross or Fire Department. You can also call us, and we will be happy to help you understand the facts about home fires.