For homes with multiple floors, detectors should be located on each level. A fire extinguisher can be useful too and kept in the kitchen to handle grease fires.
You never want to experience a fire, but if you do these devices can help you out. That is, if they are properly maintained and in good working order.
1. Know the code. Your town may require smoke detectors, but it is something they’ll only check on when you sell your home. Detectors should be located on each floor and just outside of sleeping areas.
2. Maintain your detectors. Check your smoke detectors regularly to verify that they are in good working order. When you push the test button, an alarm should sound. Some units also include a beam of light. Replace the batteries twice annually: once in the spring and again in the fall. Even if your detector is in good working condition, it should be kept no more than 10 years.
3. Leave the detectors alone. Some smoke detectors go off easily especially when located near the kitchen. If a mute button is present, press it to gain some time before the alarm goes off again. You can turn on the kitchen vent or open a window to disperse smoke. Avoid removing the battery with the intention of putting it back in later: you may forget to do so, putting you and your loved ones at risk.
4. Invest in a fire extinguisher. Keeping a fire extinguisher on hand near your cooking area can help you put out fire fast. But not just any extinguisher will do: you want one that is UL-listed to work with residential cooking equipment. Look for one with a non-toxic agent and learn how to operate it properly. If a fire is present, call the fire department before you attempt to put the flames out.
Fire Safety Plan
While smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are right for every home, you should also have a strategy in place for when a fire does break out. Point out escape routes to your family members and assign people to bring small children and animals with them. You’ll also need to identify a meeting place outside of the home such as by a large tree far from the house.