The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is encouraging all Illinois households to take steps to prepare themselves in the case of a home fire incident. The Office of the State Fire Marshal recommends having a working smoke alarm and a specific plan for your family in case of emergency.
“Planning and prevention are essential to saving lives in a fire incident,” says Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Because of the speed with which fire becomes uncontrollable, families should practice their response plan in advance and be prepared to implement it.”
Illinois law requires every household to have smoke alarms within 15 feet of every bedroom and to have at least one on each floor of the home.
Because most house fires occur at night while residents are sleeping, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) suggests placing smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area and on every level of the home. They also suggest keeping bedroom doors shut to prevent the spread of smoke and give residents just a few extra moments to escape a fire.
Other tips OSFM suggests:
- Fire alarms should be tested monthly, and batteries should be replaced twice year at Daylight Savings.
- Families should discuss and practice escape plans in case of a fire.
- Include a meet-up place that is a safe distance away from the fire.
- Practice your plan at least twice a year both during the day and at night.
- Help young children become familiar with fire safety and prevention steps.