A national morning television show is highlighting the importance of fire safety during the holiday season. Days before Thanksgiving, the peak day of the year for home cooking fires, Good Morning America featured a live fire safety demonstration at the Delaware County Emergency Training Center conducted by Underwriters Laboratories. The furnished house used in the demonstration was filled with synthetic furniture. On cue, a living room couch was lit. The reporter gave a narration of the conditions in the house once the fire began to grow and the measures that needed to be taken to escape safely. The demonstration reinforced a number of key fire safety messages:
Working smoke alarms are essential: You may only have minutes to escape once the smoke alarm sounds. Smoke alarms should be installed inside and outside of each sleeping room and on every level of the home.
Plan ahead for your escape: Draw a map of each level of the home showing all doors and windows. Practice the plan at least twice a year, day and night and with overnight guests.
Get low and go: In a real emergency, get low and go under the smoke quickly to your outside meeting place.
Know your emergency number: Make sure everyone in the home knows how to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone outdoors at the safe meeting place or from a trusted neighbor’s phone.
Protect yourself from carbon monoxide: Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas created when fuels burn incompletely. Install CO alarms in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations when required by applicable laws, codes, or standards.
Closing the door: A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
As communities prepare for Thanksgiving and other days of note in the coming months, NFPA’s holiday safety materials, and safety tips sheets on more than 60 topics will be useful in helping to curb fire-related mishaps.