In the fire service, this year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. Because of our home floor plans and modern construction materials, our homes today burn hotter and faster than ever. From the time your smoke alarm sounds, this could leave you and your family less than two minutes to safely escape from a home fire. It is more important than ever to make sure you have working smoke alarms and to take the time to plan and practice your home fire escape. If you have children or older adults in the home, do you know for sure if they will wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm? Home fire drills are how you find out.
Smoke alarms are your early detection of danger. They need to be in every bedroom, outside of any areas where people sleep, and on every level of the home, They should not be placed in a kitchen or in bathrooms. You should be testing your alarms every month and changing batteries once a year to ensure they are still working, and be aware of their expiration dates. Make sure the alarms you purchase are listed with a certified testing laboratory.
For your Home Escape Plan, you should know two ways out of each room, have at least two unobstructed exits from your home, have an outside meeting place, plan around your abilities, and practice your family’s plan a few times during the year so everyone in the home will know what to do in a fire emergency. Your ability to safely get out of your home during a fire will depend on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
Use the resources below to help you as you plan, or contact the Department of Fire and Life Safety at 757-890-3600 for questions or assistance with home escape planning, smoke alarms, or home safety checks. We are happy to assist you.