Safety Tips

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide detectors save lives, but less than one-third of American homes have one installed. With December and January at the peak of CO poisonings, check out our fact sheet and be sure to follow tips like these:

  • Replace the battery for your home’s CO detector each spring and fall
  • Do not heat your home with a gas range or oven
  • Never run a car or truck inside an attached garage
  • Smoke Alarms Dramatically Reduce Fatalities Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a house fire in half – but only if they're fully operational.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, smoke alarms have a life of 10 years. While most people are conditioned to change the batteries in their smoke alarms twice a year, NFPA survey data indicates few people know how old their alarm is or how often it needs to be replaced.

A home fire is reported every 86 seconds. Despite this threat, families rarely practice home fire drills, and nearly half of parents report their children do not know what to do in the event of a fire.

Step by Step drills:

  • Games to make the experience memorable for kids
  • Worksheet to help you draw a floor plan of your home
  •  Video of a fire drill in action
  •  Family pledge to practice a home fire drill twice a year

Fire a Leading Cause of Death for Kids As we look at the causes of home structure fires – smoking, heating equipment, electricity – all major causes have decreased, except for one. Candle-related fires are up 125%. Most deaths from fire occurred during the fall and winter months, which includes the candle-heavy holiday season.

NSC provides the following tips to keep your home safe from fire:

  •  Install both types of smoke alarms (ionization and photoelectric) and carbon monoxide alarms; change the batteries at least once a year in these devices
  • Plan – and practice – an escape route and agree on a meeting place outside of your home; be prepared to assist young children, family members with special needs and pets
  • Know two ways out of every room in the home
  •  Learn how to use your fire extinguisher
  • If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll
  •  When evacuating, if door handles are hot, pick an alternate route; learn two ways out of every room •
  • Leave your house and call for help; do not go back to help someone else

The U.S. Fire Administration offers these tips to keep children safe from fire and burns:

  •  Keep children 3 feet away from anything hot, like candles, space heaters and stove-tops
  • Keep smoking materials locked up in a high place; never leave cigarette lighters or matches where children can reach them
  •  Never play with lighters or matches when you are with your children; they may try to imitate you.