Fire Safety Tips In The Wake of the Loss of 5 Michigan Boys
In one week, 2 families were shattered by the loss of their children in a house fire.
Tragedy struck twice in one week here in Michigan. A house fire took the young lives of Logan and Briggs Connolly. Then it occurred again a few day later when fire stole the future of Juam, Manolo and Ramiro Zarala. Heart breaking tales that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
It has lead to questions about fire safety and how we can protect our family. Michael Tobin, the assistant fire chief for the Lansing Fire Department spoke with the Detroit Free Press...
It's one thing when the firefighters come and talk to the schools. It's another thing when it's the parents talking about the reality. Parents also have to practice what they preach. They have to lead by example.
Beyond making sure your batteries are fresh in your fire alarms, Chief Tobin, gave other tips of fire safety...
Close your doors: Although it might seem counterintuitive, especially if you have small children, one important fire safety measure is to sleep with your bedroom doors closed, Tobin said. A closed door can delay the spread of a fire for 30-60 minutes, giving you and your children more time to get out through a window or alternative escape route.
Buy a ladder: If you have a two- or three-story house, Poloni recommends buying a fire-safety ladder that can slip over a window sill so you or your children can climb out safely. Once you get the ladder, practice using it with your children so they understand how it works and aren't afraid to go out a window that way.
Be careful with space heaters: Don't ever plug a space heater into a power strip or extension cord, Tobin said. They should always be used with a wall plug. And never put clothing, papers or other combustible items close to a space heater. Unplug them when you're not using them, and never leave them unattended.
Get out, then call 911: In the event of a fire, Tobin and Poloni both said the first thing everyone should do is get out of the house. Precious time can be lost calling 911 from a burning home. Get out first, they said, and then call 911 from a neighbor's house or your cellphone once you're safely outdoors.
Kitchen safety: It's a good idea to have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen area of your home in case of a kitchen fire. Be mindful of the amount of grease in your pans when you cook to avoid a grease fire, and never leave food cooking on your stove unattended.
Declutter: The more stuff you have in your house, the faster it will burn, Tobin said. "Try not to have a lot of clutter in your house. Clutter is added fuel load and also clutter blocks egress, or getting out of the house in case of emergency whether it's fire or any emergency," he said.
Service your furnace: Furnaces should be maintained and inspected at least once a year, Tobin said. "That helps with not only fires but that helps with carbon monoxide issues in the house also."
Clean your dryer vents and lint traps: Make sure you're cleaning the lint from your dyer's lint trap after every use and clean out the hose that vents outside the home to ensure there's no lint inside.
Hug your loved ones tight, and set up your home for safety!