Fire prevention week is always observed during the Saturday through Sunday period in which October 9th falls as a way of commemorating the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed more than 17,500 buildings and claimed roughly 300 lives. Every year local and national organizations come together to help share some fire prevention tips, and we thought we’d do the same this year. Below, we share some fire prevention and safety tips to keep your home and your family safe.

Fire Safety Tips

Nobody expects to have to deal with a fire in their home, but it’s imperative that you take a few steps before a fire occurs so that you and your family are ready in the event of an emergency. Here are some tips for preventing fires and keeping your family safe.

Install And Check Smoke Detectors – Every room in your house should have a smoke detector installed, and make sure that you go with a unit that audibly lets you know when batteries are dead or dying so that they can be replaced as needed. It’s also smart to get in the habit of testing your smoke detectors every month and replacing them every 5-10 years as recommended by the manufacturer.

Update Your Fire Extinguisher – Every home should also have a fire extinguisher that is in proper working order. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, go out and buy one, and if you do have one, check to make sure that it’s not expired. You hope you’ll never need to use it, but it needs to function correctly in the event of a fire. Make sure that everyone in your home knows where the fire extinguisher is located and has a basic understanding of how to use it.

Develop An Evacuation Plan – Sit down with your family and go over an evacuation plan in the event of a fire. Talk about the importance of getting outside and meeting in a specific location so that you can ensure everyone is safely out of the house. At the end of the day, possessions can be replaced, so make sure that everyone knows that their priority is to get out of the home and not to try and save any material possessions in the process.

Practice Your Plan – It’s also helpful to practice your fire escape plan with your family at least once a year. You can do a formal walk through or you can let them know that there will be a simulated fire emergency in the future and you’ll expect them to treat it as the real thing. A plan only works if people can execute, so put your plan to the test with a trial run.

Holiday Fire Safety – Thanksgiving and Christmas are two times when fire calls tend to jump for a few different reasons. Every year we respond to garage fires that developed as a result of a turkey that was deep fried incorrectly on Thanksgiving, or because a Christmas tree went up in flames. Be very mindful of practicing safe cooking habits on Thanksgiving, and be sure to water your Christmas tree regularly and remove it in a timely manner so that it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard.

Always Have Eyes On A Fire – Never leave a fire unattended. Don’t leave candles burning in another room or leave a bonfire burning overnight, because it doesn’t take much for a fire to spread. Extinguish fires if you can’t keep an eye on them.

If you do all of the above, we’re confident that you’ll be able to lower your risk of an accidental fire and you’ll be ready in the event the unimaginable happens. For more information, or for more tips on preventing fires, reach out to the team at Gold Cross Ambulance today.

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