With the many house fires that have been fought in the area recently, fire safety is one thing to keep in mind.
Fifty-three fire fatalities have been reported so far this year, compared to 46 total last year. Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost notes that these deaths could have been prevented if a working smoke alarm was present.
“Most home fire casualties occur at night when people are sleeping,” said Pfost. “The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire induce a deep sleep and decreases a person’s chance of survival. It’s important that every sleeping room has a smoke detector and one placed outside of every sleeping room. You also need a smoke detector for every level of the home.”
Pfost adds that smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month. If you hear a chirp, it’s time to change the battery. It’s good to change batteries in smoke detectors once a year and new smoke detectors should be purchased every ten years.
While smoke alarms are important, Pfost offers additional fire safety tips.
“You should have at least two exit plans and practice those, especially with young children. You should have a common meeting place outside and once to get outside don’t go back in for anything. Your chances of coming back out are reduced greatly,” he said.
Fire extinguishers should be used only in a small fire situation and make sure your house numbers are visible from the street so the firefighters can easily find your residence.
For more fire safety tips, visit the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s website at www.in.gov/dhs.