[The following post is sponsored by Kidde.]
If I told you that you were twice as likely to survive a disaster if you took certain reasonable steps, you’d do them, right? I mean, twice as likely to survive is nothing to sneeze at. That’s double.
Well, if you have working smoke alarms installed where they’re supposed to be installed, you are twice as likely to survive a fire. You double your odds of surviving.
But, the important word up there is working. So many people who actually have smoke alarms don’t test them to make sure that they’re working!
This week is Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week is held the second week of October, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (and, I just learned, the even bigger Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin, which was burning at the same time and killed more than 1,500 people).
Every year there’s a different theme, and this year the theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month. (You can see all of the themes here; my favorite is from 1942: “Today Every Fire Helps Hitler.”) Just having the smoke alarms isn’t enough. If a smoke alarm doesn’t actually work, you might as well not have it at all!!!
No matter which kind of smoke alarms you have – battery operated or hard wired – you still need to test them once a month.
Testing a smoke alarm takes literally seconds. You press the test button with your finger, and it makes a sound to let you know that it has power. Testing a smoke alarm takes less time than the following things:
- Watching a commercial on TV
- Eating the last of the ice cream
- Going to the bathroom
- Petting your cat
- Checking Facebook to see if anyone “liked” the picture you posted of you testing your smoke alarm
So really, you have no excuse.
My son is finally tall enough to test it for me – yay teenagers!
And where, exactly, should those smoke alarms be installed? Simple:
- On every level of your home
- In every bedroom
- Outside of every sleeping area
A fatal house fire happens in the U.S., on average, every three hours. If this happens to you, you might have only a few minutes to get out safely. Your smoke alarms could be the difference between life and death.
Have I scared you enough yet? Good. This is scary stuff. People don’t think that a fire will happen to them until it happens to them, and by then it could be too late. Don’t put it off: Make sure you have smoke alarms installed where they should be, and test them! Every month! Make it the first day of the month if that will help you remember.
Ah, so you already have smoke alarms installed and you test them monthly? Good for you. You can take this quiz to see how much you know about smoke alarms.
Even though 1/3 of Americans in a recent poll listed a home fire as the potential emergency they’re most worried about, only 9% knew that the shelf life of a smoke alarm was ten years. To put that in perspective, 44% knew the shelf life of a Twinkie! Get it together people!