Nationally, the American Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 fires annually, and here in Buffalo, we respond to more than 250 fires, and those numbers always begin to increase during the colder months. Because of this, we urge individuals to take certain precautions to prepare now, because it could be the difference between life and death later.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month (burning dinner doesn't count!)
- Replace your smoke alarm's batteries at least once a year (we recommend doing this when you turn back/forward your clocks)
- Create and practice fire escape plans with your whole household (you should have TWO ways out of each room... create scenarios where you can't use a certain exit to test your escape plan)
- Have your fireplace checked by a professional to make sure it is in working order
If you have kids, make sure that:
- Matches and lighters are out of their reach
- Don't leave the kitchen when baking, frying, broiling, or grilling food
And if you ever have a fire in your home, make sure once you're out, STAY OUT. Call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's phone if you don't have your cell phone on you (Don't assume that your children know that this is what they should do, be sure to talk to them about this).
For more information about Fire Prevention Month, visit the American Red Cross online to learn more.