“Early warning is the first line of defense in escaping a fire,” said William Swope, director of the Public Protection Cabinet’s Division of Fire Prevention and the state’s fire marshal. “Without a working smoke detector to issue an early warning, occupants can become trapped by deadly smoke and heat as the fire spreads quickly throughout a home, blocking escape routes.”
Smoke detectors should be on every floor of your home, including the basement and in each sleeping area. “The bottom line is smoke detectors can save the lives of your family and pets,” said Swope. “It’s simple: When you set your clocks forward, change the batteries in your smoke alarms.”
Swope said education is the key to preventing fires in your home. “Make sure everyone in your home knows about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire in your residence,” he said. “And pay particular attention to family members with disabilities to ensure everyone escapes a home fire successfully. Have a fire escape plan that includes two ways out for everyone.”
Swope encourages families to take the time to practice the escape plan. “Families should practice their escape plan or home fire drill at night and during the day, with everyone in your home, twice a year. Practice using different ways out and teach your children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them,” said Swope.
For additional information on fire prevention, visit the National Fire Protection Association website. There, you can find fact sheets on several fire prevention topics.
You can also find information on the Division of Fire Prevention’s Facebook page.