Ensuring that your home has working battery-operated CO and smoke alarms as well as fire extinguishers before a storm strikes, and taking safety steps during a storm’s aftermath could literally mean the difference between life and death. The experts at Quell recommend the following safety tips:
Before a Storm Strikes
- Add at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home and in sleeping areas to protect your family from fire during a power outage.
- Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher within reach in rooms where fires are most likely to start – the kitchen, the garage, bedroom, living room, laundry and any room with a chimney.
- When choosing a fire extinguisher, bigger is always better. Larger fire extinguishers last longer, giving you more time to fight the fire and get to safety. Be sure you can physically handle the extinguisher you’ve purchased.
- Read the instructions and know how to use the fire extinguisher before a storm hits and a fire breaks out.
- Install battery-operated CO alarms on every floor and in sleeping areas to protect your family during long-term power outages.
- Ensure that fuel burning appliances are properly installed and working according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect these appliances and ensure they are properly ventilated.
Safety During and After a Storm
- Do not operate a generator in spaces attached to your home, such as porches, patios or garages. Only operate the generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home and protected from direct exposure to rain.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using generators. Use the appropriate sized and type power cords and never run them under rugs or carpets. Overloaded or covered cords could overheat and cause fires.
- Do not use a charcoal or gas grill inside your home or outside near a window where CO fumes could seep into your home.
- Ensure that storm debris hasn’t blocked or sealed shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances such as chimneys, water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers, or blocked your vehicle’s tail pipe which could cause CO fumes to build up inside the vehicle.
- Use battery-powered torches or lamps for light whenever possible.
- Extinguish all candles when leaving the house, a room where a candle has been burning for a long time or going to sleep.
- Keep flammable materials liquids away from heat sources and locked away from children.
- Develop and practice a fire escape plan with the whole family. Plan two exit routes for each room, and practice your escape plan at night to mimic the most difficult fire situation you might encounter. Never re-enter a burning home. Be sure that someone is responsible for waking young children and escorting them to safety.