What I Wish I Knew Before My House Burned

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. I am part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. I hope you will learn more about home fire safety and make sure your family and house is prepared and safe.

The twisted metal gleamed and reflected the red flames of fire. The smoke cloaked the air as my breathing was labored. I wasn’t sure what to do with all my hopes and dreams disintegrated in front of my eyes. It was August 25th when my house burned to the ground. I was grateful my family, and our dogs made it out alive, but the trauma of losing all of our material possessions still keep me from sleeping at night. The smell of the wood, the ashes, and the heat that melted what once was only to be replaced by what will be.

The remnants of my life lay tattered and worn under piles of debris. I found my sadness grows from the snapshots of my life that weren’t salvageable the pictures, cards, furniture, and art that can’t be replaced. I couldn’t find my most precious photos, but I was able to grab my wedding ring before the fire took more of my memories.

Be prepared with these home fire safety tips.

What you need to know because it may save your life is that each year nearly 3,000 American dies from home fires. Many of these fatalities could be prevented with proper placement and maintenance of working smoke alarms, as well as prior emergency and escape planning.

Ensuring properly functioning smoke alarms are installed throughout the home – one on each level and in every bedroom, as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends – is the first line of defense for fire prevention. Additionally, alarms must be regularly tested for proper alarm and battery functionality – and all alarms must be replaced at least every 10 years.

Often dubbed “the silent killer,” CO is a colorless and odorless gas that is impossible to detect without an alarm. Compounding the issue and concern is that CO poisoning is notoriously difficult to diagnose – often until it’s too late. The symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses including nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting. In more severe poisoning cases, people may experience disorientation or unconsciousness, or suffer long-term neurological disabilities, cardio-respiratory failure or death.

Keep your house and family ready and safe, read our house fire safety.

Alarms do not last forever; smoke alarms and newer carbon monoxide alarms last for 10-years. When alarms are due for replacement, upgrading your level of protection with devices containing 10-year sealed batteries, which offer tamper-proof, hassle-free protection while eliminating the need to replace batteries for the life of the alarms.

It is important when considering alarm replacement, it is important to consider each home’s specific needs to make sure the home is properly equipped throughout the home with both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. A variety of smoke alarms, including combination and 10-year battery powered models, are available to meet specific needs and local legislation requirements.

Why am I talking about this now? This is Fire Prevention Month. I suggest you complete a home safety checklist that includes:

1) Testing alarms to make sure they are functioning properly.
2) Keeping track of expiration dates and replacing alarms as needed.
3) Ensuring alarms are installed on every level.
4) Planning and practicing your family’s escape route.
5) Completing the annual maintenance of appliances and professionally servicing the furnace and ensuring dryer vents are clean.

The fire my friend experienced was a result of an air conditioner unit. Her life and the lives of the people she loved were saved because they had a plan. They knew what to do when a fire occurs.

A critical component of home fire safety is having, and practicing, an escape plan with your family. According to new research from First Alert, only 27 percent of families have included a meeting spot in their fire escape plans. When creating a plan with your family, make sure you can identify two ways out of each room – which can include windows and doors – and make sure everyone in the home understands the plan. This is something that older children can help create – it is fun to get the whole family involved! We have a ladder, and we have shown our oldest how to use it. We haven’t practiced climbing down, but we have done everything else.

I suggest you buy the best smoke detector that you can. The First Alert brand offers the following products.

1. The First Alert SA3210 is great overall protection because it has both types of smoke sensors recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

2. The First Alert P1010 is a nice addition to your home’s safety, ideal for the bedroom.

3. The First Alert PRC710 provides both smoke and CO safety.

4. The First Alert CO710 is a nice table-top addition, and can be easily added to any room.

We all want to believe it will never happen to us. We want to believe that if we plan and follow our checklist that a fire will not occur but sometimes planning doesn’t work and a fire happens. The question is wouldn’t you like to know sooner if you were in danger? That is why I chose to share my friend’s story and share the First Alert Brand with you.

Know more about Fire Safety “Like” First Alert on Facebook and Follow them @FirstAlert on Twitter.

Watch this video below to know more about home fire safety.