Healthy Tip of the Week (HTW): March 27 - April 2

GHHEditor March 30th

Do you have an escape plan in case a fire happens in your home? Only 26 percent of families actually have a home fire escape plan. Most people don't realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation, so it's important to have an escape plan ready.

Every two and a half hours someone is killed in a home fire. Having a working smoke alarm reduces one's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.

Follow these tips from the American Red Cross so you and your family can be prepared in case a fire ever breaks out in your home.

  • Install a smoke alarm in your apartment and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. Designate a meeting spot that is outside and a safe distance from your home. Make sure all family members know the meeting spot.
  • Have your family practice escaping from your home. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Teach your family to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if their clothes catch on fire. Practice this with your children.
  • Once you get out of your home, stay out under all circumstances, until a fire official gives you permission to go back inside.
  • Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. If possible, place a towel under the door and call the fire department to alert them to your location in the home. Go to the window and signal for help by waving a bright-colored piece of clothing or a flashlight. Do not break the window, but open it from the top and bottom.

For more information on creating home fire escape plans, visit the American Red Cross website.

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