As the cool days of Fall arrive, the weather will soon be getting chilly, portable heaters will be out, Halloween decorations will be out on displayed, and fire places will be ramping back into gear. With home fires being the number one threat in America, the Red Cross would like to make sure that everyone is prepared for the threat of a fire. Even though fires can spread rapidly and without warning, they can also be prevented. In 2009, the Atlanta Red Cross chapter responded to 783 home fires in the metro-Atlanta area. The Red Cross volunteers will respond day and night to provide shelter, food, and emotional support to those in need.
Prevention and preparation are the keys in fire safety. The Red Cross would like to stress two things about fire preparation. First is to have a smoke alarm. Sixty-five percent of deaths occur in a home that smoke alarm is broken or does not have an alarm in the household. It is recommended to have a smoke alarm on every level of the house, inside bedrooms, and outside any sleeping area. Testing the smoke alarm is also equally as important. Once a month the alarm should be tested, and the batteries in these alarms should be changed minimum of once a year. These can small details can be the difference of a saved life.
The second key in being successfully prepared for a fire is a fire escape plan. Since fires can rapidly consume a house, a well practiced plan needs to be in place in cause a situation arises. An escape plan should have two ways to escape from every room of the house and a meeting place away from the house for all of the family members to meet at. Also, do not forget your pets in the fire escape plan since they will also need a way out of the house. Plan on who will make sure that the pets are safely out of the house.
If a fire occurs make sure you remember three things: Get out, Stay out, and Call for help. Staying out of the fire is equally as important as getting out of the fire. Do not reenter the fire as trained professionals are on their way to assist you after the call for help is made. Doing these three things can make a difference in saving a life. For more tips on Fire Safety visit the Atlanta Red Cross Fire Preparation.