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Smoke Alarms and Fire Prevention

Daylight savings time in the United States begins on the second Sunday in March, when we ‘spring forward’ and set our clocks ahead an hour to cut down on energy costs and take better advantage of the daylight so plentiful in the summer. On the first Sunday in November, we ‘fall back’ into standard time, and move our clocks back an hour as we usher in the shorter days of winter. In addition to resetting our clocks, it is widely encouraged to use these seasonal markers as a reminder to check the batteries in home smoke detectors and alarms. Damages and injuries caused by household fires exact a heavy toll in terms of expense and the potential for loss of life. Smoke alarms are proven to save lives in the event of a fire, but only if they are properly installed and maintained.

The Facts About Smoke Alarms and Fire Safety

According to figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 3,000 people die in residential fires each year. Roughly two thirds of these deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms, or with smoke alarms that are not working properly. The majority of these types of fatal fires occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when most families are asleep. Under these circumstances a smoke alarm is an inexpensive and effective first line of defense, an early warning system that can allow your loved ones to escape and the fire department to be notified before your home is engulfed in flames. The CPSC recommends the following tips for correctly installing and maintaining smoke alarms in your home:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in bedrooms and outdoor sleeping areas;
  • Test all smoke alarms once a month;
  • Get into the habit of replacing smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings time;
  • Replace smoke alarms that have been damaged or are over ten years old; and
  • Do not place smoke alarms in your kitchen or near a fireplace where they could result in nuisance alarms.

In addition to using smoke alarms, make sure you have a fire emergency plan in place. All family members should know what to do in the event of a fire, and the best means of escape.

Fire Prevention Safety Tips

Increase your family’s safety and reduce your risk of fire by following these fire prevention safety tips from the American Red Cross:

  • When cooking, remain in your kitchen and do not leave your oven or stove on unattended;
  • Make sure matches and lighters are locked away and out of reach of children;
  • Make sure appliances are plugged directly into outlets rather than extension cords;
  • Make sure curtains and furnishings are at least three feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, baseboards, and space heaters; and
  • Never smoke in bed.

Contact Our Experienced Real Estate Attorneys

At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced New York real estate attorneys are here to help your family when you need it. If you are involved in a dispute over a homeowner claim, get the legal guidance you need to ensure your rights and assets are protected. With offices in the Bronx and Westchester, we’re your neighborhood law firm, providing efficient, effective legal representation to handle all your legal needs.

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