October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts – Plan 2 Ways Out.” House fires happen for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the cause, it’s critically important that people within the home realize that in a fire, every second counts!
It is highly advised to have an Annual Chimney Cleaning to be sure that any creosote or obstructions (animal nests) are removed from your chimney. Prior to using your stove or fireplace each season please get a full Chimney Inspection which will assure you that the entire system is in good working order.
Let’s take a look at eight lifesaving tips from NFPA that every homeowner and family should be familiar with and ready to put into practice.
1. Speed is of the essence
Fire can spread fast. This is why every second counts. If there is a fire in your home, you must move fast – but not recklessly. Speed is of the essence in averting tragedy during a house fire.
2. Plan 2 ways out
Get everybody in the family together and make a reasonably accurate map of your house. In each room or area within the home, identify two exits. There may be more than two, but you should designate at least two. Often these will be a door and a window. Each person in the home should be instantly cognizant of the two ways out in the event of a fire.
3. For two-story homes
You can purchase rope ladders that hook over a windowsill and drop down to the ground outside. This is a great safety tool for homes with two or more stories, because often a window is the only logical escape route in a house fire.
4. Have a fire drill
Many public and governmental facilities conduct regular fire drills, and so should you. Do it twice a year, one time at night, the other during the day when everyone who lives in your house is at home. The drill is over when all bodies are out of the house and in a safe area. You can do several drills, one after the other, and clock your time. With each successive drill, try to be faster.
5. Teach your children well
If there are children in your home, teach them escape strategies that they can use if they’re alone in a fire. Have them demonstrate to you that they have absorbed what you’ve taught them.
6. Moving out of a fire
When you’re leaving the rooms of your home during a fire, close doors behind you to slow down the spread of the fire as well as the smoke and heat.
7. Go outside, and stay outside
Once you’re safe outside, stay there. Do not go back into a house that is on fire for any reason. Nothing in there is more valuable than your life.
8. Help rescue personnel
When calling 911 to report a fire, be as calm as possible and tell the operator exactly what he or she wants to know. When fire and rescue personnel arrive, make sure they can clearly see your address on the curb. (Depending on its stage, the fire may not be visible from the street.)
Chimney Solutions of Indianapolis strongly supports fire safety practices and Fire Prevention Week. We assist in keeping your home safe by providing comprehensive chimney cleaning services along with inspection and repair. If it’s time for a good cleaning of your chimney, call the professionals at (317) 757-6979.