Household fires are all too common, with a fire department responding to one every 24 seconds on average, according to The National Fire Protection Association.
October is National Fire Prevention Month, now is the time to protect the home against fire safety hazards.
Home Depot Associate Danny Watson will walk us through three fire safety must-dos and new technology to help protect your home.

STEP ONE: Change/Upgrade Alarms

* Research shows that only 25 percent of consumers are aware of the recommendation to replace smoke alarms every ten years. After 10 years the sensors inside the alarms wear down, and even if the alarm still chirps when you test it or replace the battery, the sensors may be compromised.

* According to The National Fire Protection Association, two thirds of residential fire fatalities result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.

* If you are one of those households that needs to upgrade, consider an alarm that detects both fire and carbon monoxide. The CDC found that each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires.

STEP TWO: Get Educated On Extinguishers

* Portable fire extinguishers put out a fire 94 percent of the time they are used, according to the Fire Equipment Manufacturer’s Association. This typically takes place within the first two minutes of the fire, so it’s important to have at least one fire extinguisher handy on every level of your home. Here are a few that you can have in specific areas in the home.

* When using a fire extinguisher, use the P.A.S.S. technique as described by the National Fire Protection Association:

o PULL the pin.

o AIM low and point the nozzle at the base of the fire.

o SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent.

o SWEEP from side to side at the base of the fire until it’s out.

STEP THREE: Check Your Outlets

* The final piece of equipment to check in a home are your electrical outlets.

* A technology called arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is designed to detect potentially hazardous arc-faults that can start fires. Arc-faults can occur anywhere in the home’s electrical system, usually from damaged cords or wires. * Products like the Leviton SmartlockPro Outlet AFCI Receptacle detect the faults and interrupt the power. AFCI outlets are now required by the National Electrical Code in many areas of the home, so contact your electrician if you are unsure about your wiring, especially if it is an older house.

Related links:  The Home Depot