It’s not uncommon to watch devastating stories on the news and think, “that could never happen to me.” You may live in a certain area of the country that hardly gets hit by natural disasters, or have just been lucky enough to not have been devastated by anything that has come your way. With Generark, our HomePower ONE and SolarPower ONE are always there to provide security and protection to your family when emergency situations strike. However, there are more things to worry about than just natural disasters the weatherman can warn you about. It is important to always prepare your own and family for any emergency situation that can come your way, even if they are few and far between.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that in 2018 alone, there were over 1.3 million home fires across the country. These fires led to a more than 20% rise in deaths, as well. According to Ready.gov, a fire can become life-threatening in just two minutes. In five minutes, a residence can be entirely engulfed in flames. We’ve broken down some steps you can take today to prepare your family for a home fire.
1. Create & Practice an Evacuation Plan
No one ever anticipates a home fire. Instead of letting the panic of the situation set-in, sit down with your family sooner rather than later and make a plan. Assess the points of exit in your home, from which you could all safely exit in the case a fire is blocking a common path, like your front door. Decide what, if anything, you will bring with you (like grabbing important documents from your night stand) and assign that job to someone. Choose a spot a safe distance from your house where you will all meet up once you have evacuated. Especially if you have young children, it is important to practice the plan often enough so everyone remembers what to do.
2. Replace Smoke Detectors
Be sure to have smoke detectors installed on every floor of your home, including the basement and attic. Replace the batteries twice a year and replace the entire unit every 10 years. Once a month, check to make sure the unit is working properly. Although for some terrible home cooks it can be tempting, it is never a good idea to disable your smoke detectors while cooking.
3. Check the Expiration Date on Fire Extinguishers
In addition to smoke detectors, you should also have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. Always have one that is easily accessible from the kitchen, by your fireplace, and anywhere else in your home that is a source of fire. Home fire extinguishers also need to be replaced every 12 years if they go unused. It is best to frequently check them, even if only once a year, to ensure they are full and usable.
4. Secure Important Documents
It is recommended that any important and irreplaceable documents, like birth certificates, be digitized in case of an unexpected home fire. You can also keep these and other more private documents, like social security cards, in a fire-proof safe. This will ensure minimal stress after the fact. You can also choose to keep some irreplaceable personal belongings with them as well.
5. Assess Your Need For In-Home Sprinklers
Depending on the size of your home, you may consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system. This can be an expense that some people are unable to take on, but you live in a home that has few exits or could allow for a fire to spread quickly and easily, this may be a good investment to protect yourself and your family.
6. Sleep with Bedroom Doors Closed
This is one of the easiest tips we can provide about staying safe in the case of a fire breaking out in your home. If your fire alarm malfunctions or fails to wake you from your sleep, keeping your bedroom door closed will slow the fire’s ability to spread into your bedroom without your knowing. This will buy you extra time to assess the situation and create an evacuation plan.
7. Understand the Danger of Home Fires
At the end of the day, you cannot be prepared for a home fire if you do not understand them. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire, which in just minutes can fill your home with thick black smoke and engulf it in flames. When the smoke fills your home, it becomes so dark it will be hard to see. While flames can turn the temperature of a room upwards of 100 degrees, an extreme danger of home fires is smoke and toxic gas inhalation.
Now that you understand the dangers of a home fire, you know the need to always be prepared in case emergency strikes. Check and replace your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers frequently and practice your evacuation procedures often. A home fire will be devastating enough, even before you realize all the memories you have lost. Keep important documents and momentos safe in a fire-proof safe or box.
About Generark: Generark is the most reliable source of emergency backup power for your home and community. From the HomePower ONE power station providing portable access to electricity, to the SolarPower ONE as a source for recharging, never be disconnected from what matters most to you. Learn more about how Generark and its industry-leading 5-year limited warranty can bring protection and security to your family on our website. Never face a power outage alone with a backup battery generator and solar panel from Generark.