According to the U.S. Fire Administration, two-thirds of home fires that kill children under 5 occur in homes without a working fire alarm [source: U.S. Fire Administration]. When a fire breaks out, you have seconds to escape the heat, smoke and deadly gases. Families can increase their chance of survival by installing and maintaining smoke alarms and following a few simple procedures:
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your house
- Test the alarms once every month and change the batteries every year
- Make sure your children are familiar with the sound of the fire alarm
- Have a fire escape plan that you can discuss, even with your youngest child, and arrange a family meeting place outside if the alarm does go off
Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas, is also a danger to families with children. Any burning fuel creates carbon monoxide. If central heating, fireplaces, space heaters, water heaters or furnaces are not properly ventilated or leak, the dangerous gases can escape. Install a carbon monoxide detector along with your fire detector, and keep it properly maintained, to help ensure your home is safe.