Around the House: Fire Safety Tips

October is Fire Safety Month and The Home Depot is teaming up with the American Red Cross to educate families about the importance of keeping your home fire safe.

As part of October Fire Safety Month and Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 8-14), The Home Depot will host free in-store clinics focusing on fire safety on Saturday, October 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 10 a.m. in all U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico stores.

Clinics will include:

Fire prevention and safety tips, including how to select and use fire safety products and how to create an escape plan
Fire evacuation and safety presentations by local fire and emergency personnel
Fire Safety Q&A with American Red Cross representatives in many stores

Fire Safety Facts and Tips

In the event of a fire, you have less than five minutes to escape.
A fire will double in size every 30 seconds.
Most fire deaths occur between 10p.m. and 6a.m. A sleeping family must be alerted quickly.
At night children react slowly to smoke alarms.
Most people die from poisonous gas in fires and not from getting burned.

Smoke Detectors

Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how and where to install smoke alarms.
For maximum protection, smoke alarms should be installed on every level and inside/outside every sleeping area. If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarm inside sleeping area.
Place smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on an inside wall just below the ceiling.
Do not install smoke alarms in corners or other areas where there is poor circulation.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

For maximum protection, place a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. If you only have one place it in the main bedroom or in the hall outside the sleeping area.
Like smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors should be mounted high on the wall.
Potential sources of carbon monoxide:
– Gas generator
– Gas heater
– Portable stove
– Car exhaust
– Clogged or cracked vent pipes in a furnace

Testing and Maintaining Detectors

Use the test button to check alarm once a month.
Vacuum cobwebs; dust monthly.
Change batteries at least once a year; twice a year is better. A good time to change batteries is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
Do not paint your smoke alarm.
Never remove battery because you are a bad cook.
Smoke alarms have a life of about 10 years.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5 years.

Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers marked A-B-C are the best for homes. A-B-C refers to three classifications of fires:
– Class A fires include paper, wood, fabric and most plastics.
– Class B fires include burnable liquids such as grease, oil and gasoline.
– Class C fires include most electric fires. It is important to have a fire extinguisher that puts out
Class C fires because using foam or water on a class C fire could cause a serious electric shock.
If you try to use an extinguisher on a fire and the fire does not die down immediately, drop the extinguisher and get out. Most portable extinguishers empty in 8 to 10 seconds.
When using a fire extinguisher, stand 6 feet away from the fire.
Aim the extinguisher’s stream at the base of the fire and slowly move it side to side.
It is a good idea to place extinguishers on every level of your home and in the kitchen, garage, and basement.
Don’t store extinguishers over the stove because flames would prevent you from reaching it when needed.
Install extinguishers high on the wall, near an exit, and away from heat sources. They should be easily accessible to adults and kept away from children.

Recommended Products

• Kidde Tamper Proof Battery Unit Smoke Alarm -- $17.97
Battery operated and provides protection during power outages

• Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm -- $19.87
Installs anywhere in your home to keep you safe

• Kidde Nighthawk Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm -- $34.97
Includes a dual detector with voice alarm. According to a study by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, a voice warning may be more effective at waking young children who may sleep through the sound of a traditional smoke alarm

• Two-Story Escape Ladder -- $79.80
Strong with a durable construction and a tangle-free design for easy use

• Fire Extinguisher -- $24.97
Offers five pounds of protection from common fire