I know that some are wary of ’emergency preparedness’ thinking people will label them whacko, tin-foil hat wearing, camo loving doomsday preppers, but there are some simple and effective thing that you can do to increase your preparedness at home, without decorating your entire house in camo and putting deer heads up on every wall. These two things can save your life. Truly, they can.
The National Fire Prevention Organization estimates that there were almost 166,600 house fires started from kitchen work in 2011 and that there are 1600 annual fatalities from residential fires. This is listed as the #1 fire hazard with electrical fires coming in second. Two of the most simple, cost effective and potentially life saving preps you can have are working fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
Easily cost less than $50 (and if you get the kind with carbon monoxide detectors built in, bonus points for you – we don’t have carbon monoxide producing anything in our house, so we just have the smoke detector) and can be there any time of the day. Think about how many people have died in overnight fires – how many of them had not bothered to check their batteries, or had a smoke detector hard wired into the house that lost electricity, or was so old and dirty that it could no longer work properly?
- Be sure to check the battery monthly (don’t wait for the spring forward/fall back time change to check your batteries)
- Be sure they are dust-free and clean on the inside
- Be sure to have enough for your entire house. If your house is larger, get 2. If you have 2 stories, get 3 or 4.
From the smallest of grease fires to the largest of fireplace fires that get out of control, fire extinguishers can save your house and your life. Most home fires are started in the kitchen or from a grill or in the garage from combustible rags stored in a small place.
- Be sure to check the pressure gauge on your extinguisher monthly
- Be sure to have enough for all areas of your house – in the kitchen, near the fireplace, in the garage and by your grill
- Be sure to store in an easily accessible location so that they can be grabbed in a second
- Be sure to replace or have them recharged if they even look like they’ve been damaged or need care
Keep these in handy spots in your kitchen, back of the house, garage, and near the grill.
Have you checked your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers this month?
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