Did you know why this week is such a big deal? Because October 8 – 12th is National Fire Prevention week. Fire Prevention week is always the week that October 10th falls on. The reason for this, (little history lesson here) is that this was the day of the great Chicago Fire in 1871.

Each year the National Fire Protection Association picks a theme and this year’s theme is “Have Two Ways Out!” This means that all families whether you are a single individual or a family with 5 kids, need to have a plan of escape with not just one exit but two. Being prepared means that if disaster strikes in the middle of the night you can do the right thing without panicking.

Why is it important to prepare for a fire? Well consider these startling facts:

·  Nationwide, there is a home-fire injury every 37 minutes.

·  A home-fire death happens every 164 minutes.

·  In 2011 alone, 3,190 people died in home fires in the U.S., one of the highest fire death rates among industrialized nations.

So instead of talking about coverages like we normally do at the Bryan Insurance Agency, I thought that this time, I would ask for help from a volunteer Firefighter from Storm King Engine Co #2 in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY. This volunteer gave us the top ten tips for safety in the home since that is where the majority of fires occur. That volunteer is my mom. Ok, corny, maybe, but ss one of the best firefighters I know and a post advisor to the Fire Explorers  the fire department, I figured I would shamlessly take advantage of this valuable resource at my fingertips.

Top 10 Tips For Fire Safety in the Home
        - By Nancy Bryan  (aka mom)

  1. Cooking remains the top cause of home structure fires. Make sure you stay in the kitchen the entire time your stove or oven is on. Also, make sure you have an ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case there is a fire.
  2. When you grill outside, move the grill at least 10 feet away from the house.
  3. Change your smoke detector batteries at least once a year. This week would be a great time to start!
  4. Make sure you have enough smoke detectors on each level of your house and that they all work. Usually you should have one in each bedroom and one or more depending on the size of your house in the hallways or common areas. If you rent don’t depend on your landlords one smoke detector as enough for you and your family.
  5. Carbon Monoxide if odorless and colorless. It is a by-product of combustion. CO can make you sick or could even kill you. Have at least one CO detectors properly mounted in living areas.
  6. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year to be sure it is properly working. Never burn wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  7. Never leave candles burning unattended. Many times a candle that is not in a jar, has a risk of burning down to where it could spread and catch fire if you are not watching it.
  8. If you have a space heater unplug it and turn it off before you go to sleep. Make sure when you use it nothing is on top of it or even close to it.
  9. Check electrical cords and don’t overload outlets or extension cords. If you see a cord that is frayed or cracked, get rid of it.
  10. Have a family escape plan in the event of an emergency. Pick a place to meet outside the home. Your escape plan should have two ways out in case one of the ways is blocked.

Remember overall, fire prevention is a family effort. If a fire does happen, get everyone out as quickly as possible and call 911. Don’t try to fight the fire on your own or go back in once you are out. Many people underestimate how quickly a fire can spread and it just isn’t worth your safety.

Thanks Mom for all of your helpful tips especially during this week! Thanks for helping be a co-blogger for the Bryan Insurance Agency. Want to see if you are prepared? Or want a tool for creating an escape plan for you and your family? Contact us (845) 565-2200, visit us in our main office in New Windsor, NY or visit us on the web for more information.  

P.S. As an added bonus, I thought it would be fun to include a picture of my mom doing some fire safety survivor training of her own.

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