Spring Forward and Review Your Safety Checklist
result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Test your smoke alarms every month and . If the alarm makes a "chirping" sound, replace the battery immediately.
Smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and in the common areas on each floor of a home. Mount them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms, less than 12 inches from the ceiling and away from windows, doors and ducts.
Smoke alarms can be interconnected wirelessly. That means, when one sounds, they all sound. A survey found this is the best way to notify everyone in a home if there is a fire. Be sure to purchase smoke alarms with the label of a reputable testing agency, like .
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Anything that burns fuel can potentially become a source of carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that can kill. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom and on every level of the home. The mirror those of smoke alarms: change the batteries, test them and interconnect them, if possible. Also, make sure vents for your gas appliances (fireplace, dryer, stove and furnace) are free and clear of snow or debris.
Family Emergency Plan
The National Safety Council recommends every family have an emergency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. Spring is a great time to review that plan with family members. Have a and emergency kit. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says an emergency kit should include one gallon of water per day for each person, at least a three-day supply of food, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, filter mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, and medicines. Visit the . The emergency plan also should include:
· A communications plan to outline how your family members will contact one another and where to meet if it's safe to go outside
· A shelter-in-place plan if outside air is contaminated; FEMA recommends sealing windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting
· A getaway plan including various routes and destinations in different directions
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