This year 86 people have lost their lives in Michigan as the result of a fire in their homes. In the month of October alone, fatal home fires claimed the lives of seven children and 10 adults.
Grand Blanc City and Township Fire Departments spent the month of October visiting our elementary buildings to teach fire safety to the smallest of our Bobcats. We'd like to take a minute to address our families and ask that you check your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, replace batteries and create or go over life-saving fire escape plans with your children. Make sure they know what to do in case of emergency, and practice that plan once in a while so they remember.
The LARA Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) has created a document for Michiganders to review, download, and print to help them develop their fire escape plan. Once the plan is established, it is important that families practice it often since, on average, they will have less than three minutes to escape a home fire due to the toxic gasses, smoke, and lack of oxygen.
Working smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire. Smoke alarms should installed on every level of every home, including the basement and a smoke alarm in every bedroom or sleeping area. Michiganders are reminded to change the batteries annually if they have 9-volt smoke alarms.
Carbon monoxide detectors are also critically important safety equipment for homes. Carbon monoxide is called "the invisible killer" as carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide detectors need fresh batteries at least once every year unless powered by sealed ten-year batteries, which should then be tested once a month to make sure they are working properly.
For more fire safety information and safety tips, visit the MI Prevention website or the NFPA website.