The biggest disaster threat to families every day isn’t floods, earthquakes or tornadoes, its fire. Nearly every 24 hours, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in San Diego or Imperial Counties.
You can take steps to minimize the risk of home fires by remembering two key fire safety tips: install a smoke alarm and develop a fire escape plan.
Home fires can start quickly and without warning, devastating lives and property. But while home fires are a serious concern, the good news is that people can take steps to reduce their risk.
- Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test your smoke alarm once a month by pushing the test button, and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Create an escape plan. Home fire escape plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. Make sure to select a meeting spot a safe distance from your home where family members can meet after escaping. After discussing your plan with all members of your household, practice the plan twice a year.
The Red Cross also recommends other simple steps to help prevent fires:
- Keep all sources of fuel (paper, clothing, bedding, and carpets or rugs) at least three feet away from all heat sources when cooking, or using alternative heating like a space heater.
- Don’t leave the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food, and don’t leave home if you’re simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food.
- Keep matches and lighters away from and out of reach of children.