Fire safety tips and links

Anchor Bill Ritter joined members of the FDNY to hand out 'worry free' smoke detectors out in the Bronx
November 4, 2013 2:58:57 AM PST
So what do you and your family know about fire safety?

Below you'll find some facts and tips regarding smoke alarms and smoke detectors, courtesy of Kidde, one of the co-sponsor's of our Operation 7: Save a Life campaign.

Safety tips:

  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Replace carbon monoxide detectors every 5-7 years.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home and in sleeping areas.
  • To help minimize the risk of CO poisoning, have a licensed professional inspect heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances annually, and install CO alarms in your home.
  • Never use ovens or stoves to heat your home. The result could be deadly.
  • The only safe way to detect carbon monoxide in your home is with a working CO alarm.
  • Make sure you install CO alarms at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances to help prevent false alarms.
  • Do not disable a smoke alarm in nuisance situations, and never "borrow" batteries for other uses.
  • Develop and practice a fire escape plan with your family, so that everyone knows what to do when the alarm sounds.
  • Consider installing Kidde's 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms in your home. You never need to replace the battery for the entire life of the alarm! At the end of the unit's life, it will sound to let you know it's time for a new smoke alarm.
  • ABC7 and Kidde are partnering together again this hyear to get thousands of smoke alarms into local homes through "Operation 7: Save a Life." If you can't afford a smoke alarm, learn how to get one at no extra cost by contacting your local fire department.

Did you know?

  • You can't see or smell carbon monoxide. The only safe way to detect this deadly gas in your home is with a working CO alarm. Install one on each level of your home and in sleeping areas.
  • Most home fires start in the kitchen. Do you have a kitchen fire extinguisher on hand when you cook? If not, try Kidde's new kitchen fire extinguisher. It has a special nozzle designed to minimize the chance of splashbacks, and is the only fire extinguisher that's UL-listed for use with residential cooking equipment.
  • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu. A misdiagnosis could be deadly.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Carbon monoxide is produced anytime a fuel is burned. Potential sources include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators and car exhaust fumes.
  • If anyone is experiencing symptoms from carbon monoxide, get everyone into fresh air and call 911 from a neighbor's home. If no one is experiencing symptoms, call the fire department or a qualified technician from a neighbor's home to have the problem inspected. If you can't leave the home to call for help, open the doors and windows, and turn off all possible sources while you are waiting for assistance. Never ignore the alarm!
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, in one out of five homes with smoke alarms, none of the alarms work -- mainly because of dead or missing batteries.

  • The risk of dying in homes without smoke alarms is twice as high as it is in homes that have working smoke alarms.
  • On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire.
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a third-party testing facility, requires an end-of-life warning to alert homeowners when their CO alarm has reached the end of its useful life. Kidde has included this feature in its alarms since 2001. Don't wait. Beat the beep!

Helpful links:

  • Crazy about your pets? Here's a link on how to get a free decal from the ASPCA that lets rescue workers know there are animals in your home to be rescued in the event of an emergency.
  • The U.S. Fire Administration released some great tips on how to "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires." Check them out here.
  • Hey, ESPN Radio fans! Did you know Michael Kay was saved by a Kidde CO alarm? Watch his story here.

  • In a fire, seconds count. Have working smoke alarms and practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. Learn more about fire escape plans from the U.S. Fire Administration here.