Family Magazine

Tips for Home Fire and CO Safety This Winter

By Bloggerfather @bloggerfather
Tips for Home Fire and CO Safety This Winter I've written in the past about the Kidde smoke alarms. They have batteries that last 10 years, and they stop us from waking up in the middle of the night, running around the house, searching for the origins of beeps. I think it's a great thing to have, and now I'm happy to write about their 10-year-sealed-battery carbon monoxide alarm, especially since my previous (non-Kidde) alarm broke (because my kids break stuff), and I've been meaning to look for a new one. We haven't been without a CO alarm for too long, but I've still been feeling bad about it. 12 years ago, our CO alarm went off in the middle of the night, and when we called 911, 4 fire engines came to our house, just in case, so I know this is serious business responsible people shouldn't neglect.
Well, they sent me an alarm in the mail, and I feel like a responsible adult again. Kidde has also asked me to post this quiz and my own answers, and if it convinces anyone here to buy a CO alarm (from any brand), I'll feel good--maybe even forgive myself for not having a CO alarm in the last few weeks.
Here's the quiz, complete with my answers. I hope you find the time to answer the quiz yourselves, and if something is off, make a plan to make it right.


1. One in four older homes needs to update fire safety equipment. How old are your alarms?
Kidde's answer:
· Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Replace CO alarms every five to 10 years, based on the model.
· Purchase an alarm with a 10-year sealed lithium battery, such as Kidde Worry-Free smoke and CO alarms, to receive hassle-free protection for a decade --no need to change a battery or hear a low battery chirp. Available nationwide at retailers like The Home Depot and Walmart, each alarm installed will save you $40 over its life in battery costs.

And my answer:
Where we live now, the smoke alarms are over 10 years old. We are moving, though, and will have some new alarms. I'll make sure to ask the previous owners how old their alarms are. And thanks to Kidde, we'll have a new CO alarm when we move.
2. Seventy-five percent of homeowners don’t know where to install smoke alarms. Do you have one on every floor, and inside/outside all bedrooms?
Kidde:
· Choose alarms with room-specific features, such as an LED light in the hallway, or a voice notification for the bedroom.
· Place a CO alarm near sleeping areas and on each floor. Keep them 10 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

My answer:
We do have smoke alarms on each floor, including the basement, and in each bedroom.
3. Do your alarms incorporate the newest features and technology?
Kidde:
· A sealed-in 10-year lithium battery continuously powers the alarm for 10 years. It’s tamper-proof and can’t be removed.
· A digital display shows the level of CO in the air and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
· An intelligent multi-sensor responds faster to real fires and CO, plus it reduces nuisance alarms like those commonly caused by cooking.
· An end-of-life warning lets you know when to replace your alarms.

My answer:
Honestly, it seems like a luxurious purchase. But considering the fact that these things aren't that expensive, it almost seems like a no-brainer. You can get a Kidde Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm for just over $20 on Amazon (prices change all the time on Amazon, but right now, this model is $21.94). Meanwhile, a smoke alarm with batteries lasting 10 years costs about $17 on Amazon--just think about all the money you'll be saving on batteries.
4. Do you need other safety products?
Kidde:
· Fire extinguisher – place one within reach in rooms where fires often begin: kitchen, garage, bedroom, living area
· Escape ladder – place in second and third-floor rooms as an alternative escape route

My answer:
Well, we do have one small extinguisher in the kitchen, but when we move to a bigger house, we'll get more. Also, we'll make sure the kids know how to use them.
5. Have you developed a family escape plan?
Kidde:
· Practice it regularly. Know two ways out of every room and who will assist children and loved ones with mobility/health issues.

My answer:
Got me on this one. But they're right. We'll have one (when we move).
6. Do your children know their address and how to dial 911?
Kidde:
· Post your home address and emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator.

My answer:
We don't have a house phone, only cellphones, but I'll make sure my kids know how to operate our phones and dial 911. Also, we'll follow the advice about having an emergency area on the fridge
7. Are your appliances and chimney winter-ready?
Kidde:
· Have a professional inspect fuel-burning appliances to ensure they function properly and that they vent outside.
· Have a professional clean or inspect fireplaces annually. Birds and small animals can make nests and leaves can build up on top of the chimney, preventing carbon monoxide from venting properly.
· Have you created a 3-foot clutter free zone around fireplaces, space heaters or wood stoves?

My answer:
These are all good points that we'll follow once we move. Right now, it doesn't really apply to our house.


And that's all! I hope the post helps one person or one family create a safer home! Thanks, Kidde, for the CO alarm, and more importantly, for the valuable information.
Tips for Home Fire and CO Safety This Winter

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