Part of taking care of our homes is knowing what to do in an emergency. A fairly obvious consideration is fire safety. It's an area that I don't feel as prepared as I should be about, but a matter I plan to consider with my family this weekend — hard as it is to think or talk about. Here's how to get the wheels turning and the conversation going, both in terms of prevention and preparedness:
Check your smoke detectors. The guidelines according to the U.S. Fire Administration:
- Test alarm monthly.
- Change batteries yearly.
- Replace the entire alarm every 10 years.
- First of all, know that if you have one, it's very important to know when and how to use it. For instance, a water-based extinguisher should never be used on an electrical fire because it could lead to electric shock. Please look over Choosing and Using Fire Extinguishers to learn when and how to use fire extinguishers.
- Make sure your fire extinguisher is still in working order. When to Replace a Fire Extinguisher offers some helpful tips.
There's a lot to learn about fire safety. And though it's a topic that's difficult to even think about, it's important to discuss and plan just in case. Are all your important papers in a place that's easy to grab or backed up digitally? Who is responsible for getting the children, the pets? Do the children know what to do? What's your evacuation route? These are questions I'll certainly be discussing with my husband this weekend.
How has your family prepared for such an emergency?