Winter is the busiest time of year for home fires and the American Red Cross wants people in Western Washington to know what they can do to help prevent home fires and what to do if a fire occurs.
“More home fires occur in winter than any other season and having working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and a fire escape plan can help save lives in the winter months and all year long,” said a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. “The Red Cross has a series of tips on preventing home fires and responding quickly if a fire occurs.”
Install Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
• Make sure all household members know what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear one.
• Test smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. If a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, quickly move outdoors and call 9-1-1.
Create a Fire Escape Plan
• Create a fire escape plan and ensure that all household members know at least two ways to get out of every room if it’s possible.
• Determine a meeting place a safe distance from the home where everyone will go if a fire occurs.
• Practice your plan at least twice a year.
Other Fires Safety Tips:
• Keep lighters and matches in a secured spot out of the reach of children.
• Have fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually.
• Keep items that can catch fire at least three feet away from fireplaces, stoves and space heaters.
• Turn off portable space heaters and extinguish candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
People can find additional information on how to protect their loved ones and their property at redcross.org/homefires.
Help Your Neighbors
The Red Cross is there to help those in need when fires break out. On average, the American Red Cross responds to a house fire once every 48 hours. The Red Cross depends on the generous support of Western Washington residents to be ready to respond and help our neighbors who are affected by home fires. People can help neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a tax-deductible donation today. To make a financial donation, go to redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.