Last month, avid fans of the NBC television series “This Is Us” watched as the untimely death of main character Jack Pearson unfolded in front of their eyes. Those of us in the injury prevention field were not as stunned because we see this often; life gets busy and families forget things especially when it comes to safety.
Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying by nearly 50 percent according to fire safety experts. They are a critical first step for staying safe in your home considering 90% of fire-related deaths are home fires according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
Here’s a few tips that could have saved Jack but more importantly will help you in your own home:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in each bedroom.*
• *Inside each bedroom is best practice because safety experts encourage you to sleep with bedroom doors shut; this process creates a barrier in case a fire would start outside of your bedroom.
• Take a few minutes each month and test all smoke alarms. Easily remember to check them by using the same day of the month, someone’s birthdate for example.
• Create a fire escape plan and practice it! Plan on two exits out of every room and get out of the house in less than two minutes.
• Smoke is toxic, so stay low and crawl out quickly.
• Meet everyone at a designated spot and once you are out, don’t go back in for anyone or anything.
For more information on safety initiatives at Children’s, visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.