Every year nearly 3,500 Americans die in home fires and approximately 20,000 are injured. Children and the elderly are especially at risk in home fires because they are less able to escape when fire strikes. You can improve the chances that your family will survive a home fire by making sure that they can escape quickly if necessary.
The primary fire safety strategy for any home is to warn the occupants early. The best way to get the earliest warning of danger is by installing enough smoke alarms. Homes should have a smoke alarm near the bedrooms, but not so close to the kitchen that you have problems with alarms from cooking. It's a good idea to have a smoke alarm in each bedroom, especially if you sleep with the door closed.
The other part of the fire safety plan is for everyone to get out quickly. When you are awakened in the middle of the night to a fire, your thinking may be confused, so it is important that you practice your escape plan ahead of time. That way, your whole family will know what to do. Manufactured homes have more ways to escape than most other homes. There are always two doors, and every bedroom has an emergency escape window. Make sure that everyone knows how to open the emergency windows so no time is wasted when fire strikes. These windows are labeled with operating instructions. Everyone in the family, as well as frequent visitors and babysitters, should practice the escape plan, including opening the escape windows.
Most people do not realize how quickly fires can grow. A home fire can become a killer in as little as 3 minutes. Can your family get out this fast? Consider that it may take one minute for the smoke alarm to sound and for you to recognize the danger. If you have young children or you are elderly and move more slowly, you may need another minute to get ready. This leaves only 1 minute for you all to get to an exit, open it, and get out. By practicing your escape, you can make every second count.