Charis Realty Group’s own Greg Yost has been a volunteer firefighter for over 40 years and a Chief for 8 of those years. Suffice it to say, he’s seen a LOT. Today, Greg would like to help everyone know that practicing good fire prevention practices in your home, (whether new ideas or tried and true) will keep you safe and prevent devastation.
We just finished National Fire Prevention Week where traditionally firefighters across the nation visit schools and teach children these Fire Prevention practices. However, if you’re not ‘Room Mom’ you may have missed that presentation! Sometimes as we grow older we forget these lessons we learned as children. We are coming up on a time change (“Spring Forward, Fall Back”) and traditionally this is a time that people focus on home maintenance and yes, their smoke detectors!
These are a few simple things to do at Daylight Savings Time:
- Make sure you have working smoke detectors (Maryland law now goes the extra step and requires all homes have a 10 year sealed battery on all smoke detectors, hopefully soon neighboring states will catch up!) Be sure to regularly test your detectors to make sure they are working and discard them if they are over 10 years old. The “old wisdom” used to be to change the battery every daylight savings time, but now you should have the sealed battery, just make sure they’re all young and working!
- E.D.I.T.H = Exit Drills in The Home. Exit drills are excellent to practice both at school and at work. Consider having a location outside where everyone in the family will meet once they are safely out. DON’T GO BACK INSIDE for anything! Have 2 ways out of each bedroom (consider rope ladders for second story bedrooms). Make a plan and practice it!
- STAY LOW IN SMOKE – If there is smoke in your home or office be sure to crawl on the floor when going through smoke to escape. If you cannot escape, make sure the door is closed, block the bottom with blanket or sheet and go to the window to wait for the firefighters. If you have to break a window and swing a blanket or something outside the window to attract attention, DO IT!
- Always smoke outside or in a designated area where everything is non-flammable. You would be amazed by how many home fires start from burning cigarettes in couches, chairs etc.
- As soon as they are old enough teach your children to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency and make sure they can recite their address if they’re old enough!
There are many other tips to remember…. stay close to your stove when you’re cooking, keep a fire extinguisher on hand and teach everyone how to use it! If you are building a new home in an area that doesn’t require it, consider putting a sprinkler system in. The small price you pay initially may be priceless down the road! Visit www.NFPA.org or visit your local fire station for more great tips.