Do you know what to do if a fire starts in your home? The first line of defense for an emergency is being prepared, and that starts with smoke detectors.
“They make one now for kids because they realize kids have a difficult time being woken up by just the standard smoke detector beeping. So they have ones now where parents can talk into it, leave a message and say “Hey Johnny there’s a fire in the house, get out of the house.” And it can be a pre-recorded message that children will react better to a parent’s voice than an actually beeping of a detector,” explained Lieutenant Bill Kostelny with the Naperville Fire Department.
Smoke detectors should be located in every bedroom and in a central hallway, with a carbon monoxide detector. Test them once a month and change the batteries once a year.
Remember ways the whole house can keep fire prevention in mind.
“Cooking appropriately and in an approved container. If you have burning candles keep them in sight with you, don’t leave the room,” said Kostelny. “We have some fires that start with candles in a room with windows open and that wind will blow some papers over by the candle, start a small fire, and a small fire doubles in size every minute so a little fire becomes a really big fire really quick.”
Those small fires most commonly start in the kitchen, so keep a fire extinguisher in a front coat closet or near an exit, instead of underneath the sink or a cabinet.
And remember to have a family exit plan.
“You can take those once a month detector tests and turn them into a fire drill at your house,” added Kostelny. “So you should have at your house, some type of place that you’re going to meet outside.”
Sleep with the door closed as a barrier to keep back smoke, gas, and fire too.
If there is an emergency, stay calm and call 9-1-1.
“The key is to get everyone outside safely and get help coming as quick as you can. And the best way you can do that is remain calm, everyone out of the house, and get help coming,” said Kostelny.
Fire Prevention Week is celebrated nationally in October as an anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.