By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
Each and every one of us know a friend, neighbor, or family member that has been impacted by a fire. Whether it was a house, garage, barn, or even gas grill fire, families have likely experienced great losses including their home, valued possessions, animals or pets, and even more devastating beloved family members. As we get ready for the fall season and celebrate National Fire Prevention Week next month, here are a few important tips to help prepare your family in the event of a fire:
- Establish a Fire Safety Plan – Work as a family to develop an escape plan in the event of a home or barn fire. Instead of just creating a fire safety plan, put it to the test and demonstrate exactly what you would do if a fire occurred. Take a note from the schools and have random fire drills at various times throughout the year. Determine the best escape route. Depending on where the fire is occurring you should try and identify more than one way to vacate. Practice where you would meet as a family to assure everyone’s safety and what you should say when calling 911 or the fire department. Keep those important numbers stored as a contact in your cell phone, as well as written down and placed in a central location that can easily be found by all in the event of a fire or other emergency.
- Install Smoke Alarms – A smoke alarm can sometimes be your first alert to a fire and can ultimately save your life! Make sure a smoke alarm is installed on every floor of your home and replace them every 10 years. Also, don’t forget to check the batteries! On a monthly basis, check to assure smoke alarm batteries are working properly and change the batteries each year.
- Know the Proper Use of a Fire Extinguisher – Many of us know what a fire extinguisher is; however, many of us our guilty of not knowing how to properly use it. As a family, learn about the different types of fire extinguishers and practice how to use them properly. Keep fire extinguishers in an easily accessible place and check gauges regularly to make sure they are in working condition if need to be used in an emergency.
Fire safety is one of the most popular topics taught at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®. Last year alone, 58% of our 396 Safety Days held a station on fire safety. These fire safety tips are examples of what children learn when they attend a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, which are held each year throughout North America. Learn more about the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program at www.progressiveag.org
A participant learns the correct way to use a fire extinguisher at a 2014 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® held in Eastern Iowa.