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September is National Preparedness Month!

September is National Preparedness Month!

September is National Preparedness Month – because while fires don't plan ahead, you can! Below are a few tips from us and the U.S. Fire Administration on how to prepare this upcoming month. Take a look, then implement, and keep yourself and loved ones safe all year long!

You know you should check or replace carbon monoxide batteries twice a year; when you set your clocks for the spring and fall time changes are the best times to do this as they're easy to remember from year to year. You can also help prevent carbon monoxide exposure with these other steps:

  1. If your detector DOES go off, leave your home immediately and call 911.
  2. Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  3. Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
  4. Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
  5. Have your dryer vents checked! Some dryers emit carbon monoxide while running and while normally this toxic gas would be vented through the dryer vent system outside the home, if your vents are obstructed due to an accumulation of lint, animal nests, or other debris, the carbon monoxide cannot escape. Over time, this gas buildup can reach high enough levels to cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

What else to do? Make sure you've replaced the batteries in your smoke alarm! These should be replaced once a year (and tested monthly to make sure they're properly working). Also go over (or come up with) a fire escape plan with your family so everyone is prepared in case of emergency. (The U.S. Fire Administration website has a fire escape plan grid you can use with children to draw out your escape plan making it easier for them.) Practice this plan at least twice a year!

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