We warn them not to talk to strangers. Pella Windows and Doors is asking parents and caregivers to also add fire and window safety to the key lessons they pass on to children.
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October is Fire Prevention Month. Take time to develop and discuss your home fire safety escape plan, and at the same time, talk to your family about window safety and how to help prevent accidental falls in the home.
"Children practice fire drills at school, and adults practice them in the workplace, but many families do not have a fire escape plan in place for their homes," said Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella spokesperson and fire safety educator. "This fall, consider what you can do to observe fire safety, as well as window safety."
Through its Close the door on fire® campaign, Pella encourages you to practice home safety year-round:
Identify! Prepare! Practice!
Pella offers this fire safety plan to help protect your loved ones:
- Evaluate fire safety risks inside your home and immediate surroundings. Equip your garage with smoke detectors since garage fires can start easily and spread quickly. Also, properly extinguish fire in indoor fireplaces or outdoor fire settings like grills or fire pits to prevent the risk of fire spreading around your home or to others in the neighborhood.
- Identify two exits – Designate two exits from every room in your home — a door and a window. Make sure doors and windows open quickly and easily to help ensure a quick exit; if not, consider replacing them for safety's sake.
- Have a plan – Download a fire escape grid from Pella (http://pressroom.pella.com/photo_library/preview/621/) and draw a floor plan of each level of your home. Before an emergency strikes, establish and communicate a meeting place a safe distance outside your home for everyone to gather in the event of a fire.
- Check the alarms – Install working smoke alarms in or near every sleeping area and on every level inside your home. Test alarms monthly, change batteries regularly, and replace alarms not permanently wired into your home's electrical system every 10 years.
- Make smart purchases – Consider keeping items like fire extinguishers and fire escape ladders in your home. Mark their location on your home fire plan and share this information with those in your home.
- Test the alarm – Sound smoke alarms when household members are awake so everyone knows what they sound like, and test your family's ability to awaken to fire alarms during sleeping hours. If they don't awaken easily, assign someone to awaken sound sleepers in the event of an emergency.
- Practice makes perfect – Practice your home fire escape plan with everyone in your home at least twice a year. Practice your plan first in the daytime to familiarize everyone in your home with what to do in the event of a fire, and then at night, when most home fires occur.
Fire safety tips
- Remove matches and lighters from the reach of children and talk to children about the importance of fire safety.
- Keep flammable objects, like rugs, bedding, clothing, furniture, curtains and decorations, away from portable heaters.
- As the weather turns cooler, never leave a portable heater unattended or on while you sleep.
- Never use an oven to heat a home and never place a generator inside your home — this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Avoid the use of pourable gel fuels in firepots. These fuels can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects nearby when poured into a burning firepot.
- Consider replacing candles with electric candles, especially in homes with children and pets.
- Keep fire pits on a solid surface in an open area. Never use a fire pit indoors and never allow children to light the fire.
- Keep children's play away from windows, doors and balconies.
- Teach people not to lean against a window screen. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep a person in the building.
- Keep windows closed and locked when not in use to let in fresh air. When opening windows for ventilation, open those that a child cannot reach like the upper sash on a double-hung window.
- Keep furniture like beds and dressers -- anything children can climb -- away from windows.
In the U.S., a home fire is reported every 83 seconds, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). More than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires, USFA reports, and about 20,000 are injured.
About 5,100 children in the U.S. are injured by falls from windows each year, according to the National Safety Council. More than 70 percent of window falls are from the second or third story; however, even falling from a first-floor window can cause injury, according to the foundation.
"Despite the best intentions to change batteries in smoke alarms or practice home fire drills, many people simply don't make the time to talk to their families about these potentially life-saving practices," Krafka Harkema said. "Take the time to do it. Pella provides fact sheets with safety tips to help you protect your family year-round."
Helpful tools, images, audio sound bite
- Downloadable fire escape grid (http://pressroom.pella.com/photo_library/preview/621/)
- Important fire safety tips (http://pressroom.pella.com/fast_facts/95/important-fire-safety-tips)
- Step-by-step fire drill plan (http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/SafetyGuide/sg_fire_w004.asp)
- Downloadable fire safety home images (http://pressroom.pella.com/photo_library/search_categories/19/56/)
- Window safety video (http://pressroom.pella.com/news-and-views/video/28/window-safety)
- Window safety tips (http://pressroom.pella.com/fast_facts/115/window-safety-tips)
- National Safety Council, www.nsc.org
- National Fire Protection Association, http://www.nfpa.org
- Safe Kids USA, www.safekids.org
Pella Corporation is a leader in designing, testing, manufacturing and installing quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling and replacement applications.
As a family-owned and professionally managed privately-held company, Pella is known for its 86-year history of making innovative products, providing quality service and delivering on customer satisfaction. Headquartered in Pella, Iowa, the company is committed to incorporating new technologies, increasing productivity and practicing environmental stewardship to create satisfied customers.
Pella manufactures quality windows, patio doors and entry door systems sold through a Direct Sales Network operating Pella Window & Door Showrooms across the United States and Canada and select building materials retailers, including Lowe's®. For more information, call 888-847-3552 or visit pella.com. Follow Pella on Twitter.com @Pella_News, on Facebook at facebook.com/pellawindowsanddoors and on YouTube at youtube.com/pellawindowsanddoors.
SOURCE Pella Corporation