According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), fire is the third leading cause of death in the home, with about 5,000 fire-related deaths each year. Heating system fires are the second leading cause of residential fires, mainly because many people do not have professionally maintained heating systems.
When a fire breaks out
If there’s a fire, you and your family have very little time to escape. Even a spark of flame can get out of control and become a major fire in as little as 30 seconds. It takes only minutes for your home to fill with toxic smoke and carbon monoxide gas. Then your house can be completely engulfed in flames.
What saves lives
Properly working carbon monoxide and smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a fire in your home.
Choosing carbon monoxide and smoke alarms
Protection from the dangers of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, means having effective detectors installed in key areas. When shopping for detectors, choose those certified by a reputable product safety testing and certification organization. When choosing smoke alarms, dual-sensors are best. One sensor detects flaming fires and the other detects smoldering fires. For carbon monoxide detection, it is a good idea to choose either plug-in or hardwired alarms with battery backups.
Ideally, not having to use carbon monoxide and smoke alarms is the goal of fire prevention. For instance, your home’s heating systems should be inspected by a heating professional annually, and fuel-burning appliances should be installed by trained professionals, according to city building codes. This precaution eliminates the hazard of a fire being caused by a faulty heating system.
Additionally, one way to prevent carbon monoxide gas exposure is to never leave a car idling in an attached garage. This can cause severe sickness or death to occupants inside the home, even with the garage door open.
Having alarms, in good working condition, increases your chances of survival in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak in your home.