What happens when the fire department doesn’t have a fire truck? Delafield residents may be asking that question after the town’s fire engine was totaled in an October 2017 crash with the replacement not due to arrive until July 2018. Luckily, the Town of Delafield Fire Department was able to borrow a reserve truck from a neighboring department, but the incident serves as a good reminder that you are your family’s first line of defense against fires and other disasters. Continue reading to learn more about how to protect them.
Start with Smoke Alarms
Whether you’re asleep in your bed at night or out on your porch, smoke alarms give you the early warning you need to get your family to safety.
Smoke Alarm Installation Tips
Make sure your smoke alarms follow the following guidelines.
- Have one above every bedroom door at a minimum. If you have a split floor plan or a large home, add smoke detectors to your other major rooms or hallways.
- Test each individual smoke detector monthly.
- Replace all batteries monthly.
- Replace the entire smoke alarm every ten years.
How to Choose a Smoke Alarm
There are two major decisions you need to make when buying a smoke alarm.
- Battery-only vs. wired. Wired smoke alarms are powered by both your home’s electricity and battery backup. This minimizes the chance of them failing in a fire. However, if you need to add a smoke alarm in an area where there’s no nearby wiring, battery-only is better than nothing.
- Stand-alone vs. connected. A stand-alone unit will only sound when its own detector is triggered. Connected units talk to each other by wire or Wi-Fi and will all sound the alarm to ensure you know there’s a problem no matter where you are.
When you buy your smoke alarms, don’t forget to check for recalled units like the Kidde dual sensor alarm.
Have Fire Extinguishers on Hand
Once your family is safely outside and the fire department is on its way, you may be able to use a fire extinguisher to keep a small fire from spreading to the rest of your home.
The most important thing is to have the right kind of fire extinguisher on hand. Each type uses different types of chemicals, and one that’s good for common garage fires could make a kitchen fire worse.
If you have to use a fire extinguisher, follow the PASS technique.
- Pull the pin.
- Aim at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle.
- Sweep across the base of the fire until it’s out.
Again, check for fire extinguisher recalls such as the recent Kidde FX model recall.
Be Sure to Have CO Alarms
Newer smoke alarms should double as carbon monoxide detectors, but you need to double check. This odorless, colorless gas can quickly turn deadly if you don’t have the right equipment to warn you.
In homes, carbon monoxide usually comes from gas leaks or combustible engines — things like stoves, furnaces, cars, and lawn equipment. In addition to the usual spots for smoke detectors, be sure to have a CO alarm anywhere near potential sources of gas such as garage doors, basement doors, and living spaces located over a garage.
In addition to keeping your family safe, upgrading your safety equipment could earn you an insurance discount. Contact Billy Brown Insurance to learn more about the homeowner discounts you may qualify for.