Concord, NC – With the arrival of warmer temperatures, summer fireworks celebrations and dry outdoor conditions caused by the drought across the Southeast, consumers need to make sure they are prepared in case a fire breaks out.
“Fire safety is an important issue for everybody to think about,” says Allstate agent Mary Kelnhofer. ”By following the tips below, hopefully the only things that consumers lose in a fire are their possessions.”
• Check the batteries in your smoke detectors often. Keep extra batteries on hand and replace them every six months.
• Check your smoke detectors monthly. Replace any that are 10 years or older. Make sure everyone knows that the piercing sound means danger, and they should escape quickly.
• Position detectors smartly. Place one on every level of your home and near areas where you and your family sleep.
• Keep detectors away from heating and cooling ducts and at least six inches from where walls and ceilings meet.
• Keep fire extinguishers handy. Make sure there’s at least one on each floor – especially near the kitchen, garage, laundry room and workshop.
• Talk with your family and make sure everyone knows what to do in case a fire breaks out. Make sure you have two ways out of your house.
• Create a fire safety plan, with a designated meeting place.
The following tips are for residents of high-rise buildings in the event of a fire.
• Go down the window fire escape if your building has one.
• If your building does not have a window fire escape, take the following actions:
1) Feel the door to the hall with the back of your hand. If it is hot, put a wet towel along the floor crack to keep smoke out. Go to the window and wave a colorful cloth to catch the attention of firefighters.
2) If the door to the hall does not feel hot, leave the apartment and go down the nearest stairs. In the event of a fire, never try to take an elevator. If the power in the burning building fails, you could be trapped.
• If the hall is filled with smoke, get down close to the floor and crawl to the nearest stairs. You will breathe in less smoke if you stay low.
For more information on fire safety topics, contact Allstate agent Mary Kelnhofer at 704-794-9777, or via email at MaryKelnhofer@allstate.com.