The winter months (December, January, and February) are peak time for heating fires in the home. You need not look far to understand the devastating impact of home fires. It is on full display with the recent row home fire in Philadelphia and the high-rise fire in the Bronx borough of New York, which killed 12 and 17 people respectively. Even more devastating is the fact that of the 29 lives lost in these two fires 17 were children.
While the best measure of defense against fires is preventing them in the first place, this isn’t always possible. That’s why it’s equally important to know what to do should one occur. Here are tips for establishing a fire safety and prevention plan.
- Install the proper number of smoke alarms.
Not only is it important to ensure that you have the right number of smoke alarms installed, but it’s also imperative that you test them monthly and replace the batteries at least annually. If you are renting your home it’s still important that you make sure that your landlord has installed the right number of smoke alarms, tests them, and changes the batteries. If you receive any warning beeps or notice that the light on your smoke alarms is red (and no longer green) this is likely indicative that the batteries need to be changed. If you can, change the battery yourself; if not, contact your landlord as soon as possible. If your landlord is not meeting his or her housing requirements, call your local fire department and local government’s housing code enforcement office or if there is none, contact the Virginia Department of Labor.
- Establish escape routes and a meeting spot.
It’s key that you and the members of your household are aware of two ways to get out of every room as well as a spot that you are all aware to meet at outside of the home in the event of a fire. This allows everyone to see who has left the building and who is still unaccounted for. The last thing you want is someone going back inside to look for a family member who has already exited the building. It’s also a good idea to establish a communications plan so that everyone knows who to call should they be unable to find the rest of the family or co-habitants.
- Practice your escape.
While it may seem a bit dramatic, one of the best things you can do is to practice escaping from your home at least twice every year. This is a really great exercise to do with your children so that they know what to do in the event that there is a real fire. You can yell “fire” or even press the test button on the smoke alarm. Practice this until you get it right.
- Ensure that everyone is familiar with 9-1-1-.
Another thing that is important to do is to make sure that everyone knows what 9-1-1- is used for, when they should call it, and how to call it. Practice teaching your children their address so that they are able to provide it should a dispatcher ask for it.
- Practice the age-old “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”
It’s important that everyone is familiar with what to do should their clothing catch on fire. Practice stop, drop, and roll drills every so often with your kids.
Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Suffered a Burn Injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, it can have a drastic impact on many aspects of your life. You shouldn’t have to pay for the negligence or recklessness of someone else. A knowledgeable and knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has experience with burn injuries and accidental fires can help to walk you through the process.
At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we work hard to ensure that our clients receive the best outcome and compensation that they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!
Posted in: Personal Injury