Two things are crucial in fire safety: Having a working fire alarm system and having a plan of escape. It seems almost too simple, but together these two things save lives.
Take the Statistics Seriously
Each year, fire kills about 3,000 people a year in the United States. Forty percent of those deaths occurred in homes without working fire alarm systems.This startling fact highlights how these two things can be vital in saving your life in an emergency.
60 Seconds to Safety
One minute is all the time you have to safely escape once fire erupts. Most people believe they have more time because they assume that it is the fire that causes most fatalities. Smoke inhalation is in fact the major cause of death in most cases, and a room or structure can fill with smoke in a very short time. The earlier the warning and the better the plan of escape, the better the chances of escaping without injury. Here are some important tips to make the most of your 60 seconds:
· Have a working fire alarm system
· Opt for alarm system monitoring. Early alerts to emergency services can be the difference between saving lives and property.
· Never deactivate your fire alarm system for any reason, especially while cooking.
· Do not re-enter a burning building
· Have fire extinguishers available and accessible
· Have your fire system maintenanced regularly
· Install fire safety features such as escape ladders for upper windows
· Develop and practice a fire escape plan. Be sure to plan for children, babies, aged, disabled persons as well as pets.
· Practice your plan regularly under all circumstances, such as day and night time, hot and inclement weather. Remember, fire rarely occur under ideal circumstances.
What You Can Expect Once the Alarm Sounds
When there is a fire emergency people can react unpredictably. That makes having a plan and knowing what to expect important. Here are some things you should consider if fire erupts in your home or place of business:
· Get out. That is your first priority.
· If you have a fire sprinkler system, expect it to go off as you try to exit. This may make floor slippery, so learn to expect that possibility.
· Meet in your agreed upon location. Take a head count.
· If you have a monitored system, you can expect emergency services to arrive quickly.
· Fire department personnel will determine if the structure is safe to remove valuables once the fire is extinguished.
· Secure the building to prevent further loss due to theft.
· Contact your insurance company.
When all you have is the possibility of one minute to get to safety, you will want to make every second count. Complete Security Systems specializes in comprehensive fire and life safety systems for installations ranging from single dwelling homes to major retail centers. If you have any questions about how to make a fire alarm system part of your emergency plan, give us a call today.