Having a working smoke alarm isn’t the only thing you need to keep yourself and your family safe if a fire ignites in your home.
There are more potentially life-saving tips to learn and remember when it comes to fire safety, and Horry County Fire Rescue is striving to educate the public during fire prevention week. This year’s theme is called “Every Second Counts-Plan 2 Ways Out,” and officials are stressing the importance of having an escape plan in place and practiced if your home catches fire.
Last year, HCFR responded to 260 home fires, according to Mark Nugent, HCFR spokesman, who said so far this year there have been four fire fatalities.
“What my big thrust is and will continue to be, is how we can prevent those home fires, because 97 percent of the fire fatalities … occur in the home,” Nugent said, stating when fires do claim lives, it almost always happens in a home, not a business or public building.
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He urged residents to develop a family fire safety plan and practice it and also said HCFR has posted home safety tips on the department’s website under the community education link.
“People have to become engaged,” Nugent said. “Our goal is to meet people on a good day, but we want you to take it upon yourself to give a little bit of attention to fire prevention.”
HCFR offers some of the following tips to help keep residents safe:
“1. Make drawing the Home Escape Plan a Family Project
2. There should be two exits from each room
3. There should be a Designated Meeting Place where everyone goes
4. Practice your Plan each month
5. Have an actual Fire Drill with your children on a weekend night by waking them up with the Smoke Alarm and see how well they react
6. Sleep with your Bedroom Door Closed.
7. Make sure you have a Working Smoke Alarm in every sleeping area
8. Test and Dust your Smoke Alarm each month
9. Change the 9-volt battery twice a year when you change the clock for Daylight Savings Time
10. If your Smoke Alarms are 10-years old, please change the entire Alarm. We suggest purchasing Smoke Alarms with 10 Year Lithium Batteries.”
For more on fire safety, click here.