Cleaning, dusting, freshening and organizing - these steps are all typical activities for a spring cleaning routine. But while you're organizing your house or home office this season, make sure you've added organizing and streamlining your family safety and fire plans to your to-do list.
While you can never plan for a fire, if one does break out, it not only puts you and your family in danger, but also compromises the safety of your community fire fighters and first responders. The spring season is the perfect time to review your fire escape plans as you simultaneously tackle your traditional spring cleaning to-do list. By reviewing these fire safety tips from Duracell and taking precautions, you can help keep both your family and local first responders safe.
* Check your smoke alarms once a month to make sure they work. If your alarms are 10 years old or older, it's time to replace them, because alarms can become desensitized over time. If possible, purchase interconnected alarms. If one alarm goes off, all the alarms connected in your house will go off, helping to alert everyone in all locations of a possible fire. Also check the locations of your smoke alarms. Have at least one on every level of your home, and one inside or near sleeping areas. Also replace the batteries inside your alarms once a year with batteries you trust, like Duracell.
* Develop a fire escape plan for every room in the house. Make sure all family members know of at least two exits for every room in the house, and where an outside meeting place will be - away from the house. If you have a second story, have portable escape ladders stored in each of the rooms so family members can escape safely. Practice a fire escape drill twice a year.
* Changing weather temperatures can cause windows and doors to stick, so make sure every member of your family is able to unlock and open these escape opportunities - especially as the seasons change. If you have security bars on doors or windows, have a "quick release" latch so it's easier to get outside in an emergency. Also keep stairways and doorways open - not blocked with clutter that could slow down your escape.
* Practice safety with candle flames, space heaters and cigarettes. Blow out all candles if you plan to leave the room or go to sleep. And keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn. Turn them off before leaving the room or going to sleep. And make sure all cigarettes are completely extinguished and wetted down with water before being put into the trash.
* Be educated about your community first responders: Did you know that of more than 1 million active firefighters in the U.S., about 73 percent serve on a volunteer basis?
More than 23,000 volunteer fire departments in the United States operate on tight budgets to help keep your community and your homes safe in case of, and when, fires strike. Many volunteer firefighters report they spend up to $500 of their own money each year in purchasing supplies and equipment for their department, according to a U.S. Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey.
You can support your community volunteer fire department by simply doing what you already do, purchase batteries for your household. Through the Duracell Power Those Who Protect Us battery donation program, with every purchase of specially marked CopperTop batteries, a battery donation will be made to volunteer fire departments across the country to help power the devices and life-saving equipment volunteer firefighters use. Through this program in partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council you can direct the donation to your community by visiting Duracell.com/protect or Facebook.com/Duracell.