Fire Prevention Week focuses on home escape plans
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 10:10
    The Baltimore County Fire Department wants to remind county residents that this week is National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Have Two Ways Out.”
    The fire department recommends developing a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of each room and designates a family meeting place outside, as well as practicing the plan at least twice a year.
    If your smoke alarm goes off, go to your closest exit, and if there is smoke on your way out, turn and use your second way out.
    If you must exit through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
    As always, the installation of smoke alarms remains the single most important fire safety step you can take.
    It is recommended that you install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Interconnected smoke alarms are most highly recommended, because when one smoke alarm activates, all of them will. A licensed electrician should install hard-wired smoke alarm systems.
    Test smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Replace batteries at least once a year, and replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.
    Fire officials recommend that you have two types of alarms. An “ionization” smoke alarm responds more quickly to flaming fires and a “photoelectric” smoke alarm responds more quickly to smoldering fires.
    Smoke alarms are also available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms use a strobe light that flashes when the alarm sounds. Some are equipped with tactile notification systems that shake pillows and/or beds when the smoke alarm sounds.