Get serious about a home fire safety plan

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We have stressed the importance of fire safety and smoke alarm use in this space before, but a recent story from North Mississippi underscores just how crucial a fire safety plan is.

Twin children were killed in a Ripley house fire Sunday. The fire killed a 4-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, The Associated Press reported. Tippah County Coroner Chris McCallister on Sunday told WTVA-TV that the children died from smoke inhalation.

It is unclear if there were smoke alarms in the house, but they are a key part of a fire escape plan. Below are tips about fire safety from the National Fire Protection Association. Please put them in practice.

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• A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.

• Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.

• It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.

• Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.

• There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.

• A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.

• People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.

• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

• Check batteries and replace when necessary.