Each year when we adjust our clocks to either spring forward or fall back, we are reminded to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It may seem like a simple task, but not doing so can put you and your family in a difficult and possibly deadly situation. For this reason, the Red Cross is trying to get as many smoke alarms as possible installed in homes across the country.
Last year the Red Cross began its Home Fire Campaign to get smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to the people who need them most. Volunteers will come to your home and install smoke alarms for you at no cost. Those interested should find their local chapter on the Red Cross’ website to see when volunteers will be in your area.
The statistics on smoke detectors and house fires are eye-opening. In New York City over the past few years, close to 70% of deaths in fires took place in a residence where the smoke alarm was missing batteries or had dead batteries, or there was no smoke detector at all. That is frightening considering in most cases smoke alone will not wake someone up during a fire and there is a small, two minute window to get everyone out of a burning house safely.
The Red Cross is aiming to cut down the injuries and fatalities caused by fires in the home by 25 percent in the next five years. They take this on knowing that on average, seven people are killed and 36 people are injured every day across the U.S. in home fires. A working smoke alarm gives you more of a chance to stay safe. In fact, the risk of death is cut in half. The organization also encourages families to have a fire escape plan and to practice it on a regular basis. Being caught in a fire can be chaotic. Being able to instinctively carry out the plan is critical, especially for young children.
Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home, especially in or near bedrooms and sleeping areas. Taking precautions against home fires is key, but sometimes fires occur due to events out of your control. If you or your family has suffered an injury from a fire you suspect could have been prevented, contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C., to stand with you and for you during this stressful and difficult time.