Installing and properly maintaining smoke detectors in the home is a proven way to dramatically reduce the risk of serious fire-related injuries. Fires can spread extremely quickly, and smoke alarms can provide you with valuable time to either put out a fire or evacuate your home in the case of a fire that rapidly becomes out of control.
Proper maintenance of smoke alarms is just as important as installing them in the first place. In situations in which the life of a child may be in jeopardy, it is essential to follow all smoke alarm guidance closely:
Smoke detectors reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%. Without routine and proper maintenance, however, these alarms will not work properly and may not warn you of a fire in time to get everyone out of the home safely.
Keeping fire extinguishers in your home is integral to a comprehensive fire safety plan. Experts recommend you keep a fire extinguisher on each level of your home and in rooms with open flame heating (kitchen, garage, etc.). Keep extinguishers in plain sight but out of reach of children.
Not every fire extinguisher is capable of putting out all types of fires. Safety experts recommend homeowners purchase ABC-rated extinguishers because of their ability to put out multiple types of fires. Look for the fire class symbols on the extinguisher when purchasing to understand which class of fire your extinguisher can put out.
Did you know that fire extinguishers expire? The life expectancy of our fire extinguishers is approximately 10-12 years. You should replace a non-rechargeable FE after 10 years from the manufacture year. The year of manufacture is located on the UL nameplate/label on the fire extinguisher canister.
Do you have an expired fire extinguisher? Don't throw it away on trash day. Bring it by RVFD Station 1 so we can use it for training.
Home fires can still happen even if you take property safety precautions and follow all expert guidance. It is vital for families, especially those with young children, to understand how to safely evacuate their homes in the event of a fire.
To improve your family’s chances of survival, parents must have a comprehensive evacuation plan in place. This plan should fully encompass what each family member must do, including how they plan to evacuate and what to do once they’ve escaped. For parents with children, there are quite a few variables that will need to be taken into account to ensure your children can reach safety.
Every family should have a comprehensive plan to escape their home in an emergency. When creating an escape plan, families should:
Your children should be able to recite the escape plan back to you and execute it in family drills with minimal supervision. Experts recommend that families regularly practice their escape plan at least twice a year to keep children familiar with what they must do in an emergency.
The final step after escaping your home is calling for help. Not wasting time in your home while on the phone with a 911 operator is very important. Evacuate as quickly as possible. Only once you have reached the predetermined meeting point at a safe distance from your home, call 911.
Help will be on the way. Adults must also refrain from reentering the home and let the professionals handle the situation.
If a child ever needs to call 911, there are a few questions they should be prepared to answer to help the operator dispatch necessary services to the right location as quickly as possible. Parents should ensure their children can readily give 911 operators information such as:
When calling a 911 operator, make sure your children speak slowly and clearly. Make it clear that they should not hang up on a 911 operator until instructed.