You may not have realized this (just like I didn’t) but last week, from October 4 to 10, was National Fire Prevention Week. It was a week designed to increase awareness about the life-saving benefits of smoke alarms. Free materials were prepared by the U.S. Fire Administration and distributed to use for educating residents about the importance of fire safety and working home smoke alarms. You know how sad it is when we read in the paper or see on the News that someone’s life has been claimed in a fire. And it doesn’t matter if it was near us in Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino or in some distant city. One life lost to fire is one life too many.
The folks here at GAMA Air want to do our share to make sure your home is as prepared as it can be for the possibility of a fire. So we’re dedicating this blog entry to some helpful reminders about fire prevention and preparedness.
“Change your clock, Change your battery!”
In just a couple of weeks we will be changing our clocks back one hour. It is a simple slogan, but if you’re going to take 5 to 10 minutes to change your clocks, then spend an extra 5 minutes and replace the battery in your home’s smoke detectors. Why bother? Here’s why:
- Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
- More than one-third of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
- Half of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am, when most people are asleep.
- Heating is the second leading cause of home fires.
But a working smoke alarm greatly increases the chances of your family getting out of a burning house in time.
Please consider the following tips:
- Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. “Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP.”
- Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home even if there are no sleeping areas on that level.
- Install smoke alarms that are connected to your home’s electric system, with a battery backup.
- Install smoke alarms that include both ionization and photoelectric detection. An ionization alarm is more responsive to flames, while a photoelectric alarm is more responsive to a smoldering, smoking fire.
- Go the extra mile and install smoke alarms throughout your home that are interconnected, so they all sound if any one of them goes off.
- Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from where you cook. And if your cooking sets one off, DO NOT remove the battery. Just press the HUSH or SILENCE button.
- Never paint over a smoke alarm.
- Test your alarms monthly by pressing the TEST button.
- Replace your smoke alarm if it is 5 to 7 years old, or if it fails the monthly test.
- Some people, especially children and older adults, may need help to wake up. Make sure someone will help them if the smoke alarm sounds.
Admittedly, implementing the above tips will take time and money. But ask yourself: “How much time and money is the life of my family worth?” Don’t be an “If-Only” victim. Take the time now to make sure your family will be as protected as possible in the event of a fire.
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