January is Radon Awareness Month

January is Radon Awareness Month.

Areas of New Mexico have significant amounts of radon. SkyTech Of New Mexico would like to spread the word about how important the environment is when it comes to your health. We encourage you to learn more about the potential health effects of radon exposure and how to check your home for this potentially dangerous gas. Since it originated in 1970, Earth Day has served as a platform for education and advocacy efforts in support of a better world, cleaner air, and fresh water. Keeping with the spirit of the observance, we to learn more about the potential dangers of radon exposure and the various ways environmental factors play a role in one’s health.
SkyTech of New Mexico is IAC2 certified. We are experienced and qualified to administer radon testing, indoor air quality testing, and environmental testing. We test all types of commercial and residential properties. Not just properties that are being sold or purchased. Properties that are currently occupied (and have been for a significant amount f time) can still have radon issues. Radon testing is a stand-alone service. Contact us today if you have questions or to schedule a consultation or testing.

The Danger of Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. You can’t see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. Radon can have a big impact on indoor air quality. Radon gas in homes is a health risk. Santa Fe County, like Bernalillo and many others, show up on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s radon maps as a Zone 1 county. That means homes can have a predicted indoor radon screening level above 4 picocuries per liter, the EPA’s recommended safe limit.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, naturally occurring radioactive gas resulting from the radioactive decay of uranium, which exists in most soils. Radon enters homes and buildings from the soil under the slab, from the crawlspace, basement, etc. Radon can also be found in some water supplies entering the home or building. Because radon is radioactive, it’s breakdown to other elements releases alpha, beta, and gamma radiations which can be physically damaging. When radon, and especially these decay elements, are inhaled, the lungs can be seriously damaged by this radiation.  Studies have determined that as a result of this damage, radon is the overall second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is also believed to be the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Nearly 1 out of 15 homes in the US is estimated to have elevated radon levels. In New Mexico, the north-central part of the state including Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties are considered high-risk areas. Up to 30% of homes tested in Albuquerque and 40% in Santa Fe have shown radon levels that exceed the EPA recommended norms.

All houses can have radon; even those in areas of low radon potential can have elevated radon levels. The probability of finding radon in your home is less in low radon potential areas; however, radon levels can differ dramatically from one home to the next. The only way to know if you have radon is to test your home.

Individuals are exposed to elevated radon primarily in indoor environments, homes, offices, schools, etc. Any home or building, old or new, can have a radon problem. The only way to determine if a home or building has elevated indoor radon is to test.

How does radon enter your house? Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than the pressure in the soil around and under your home. Because the pressure is lower inside, radon is sucked into your house through cracks or holes in the slab or foundation. If you have elevated radon levels you can fix your home. If you are building a house in an area of moderate or high radon potential we recommend using radon-resistant building techniques.

The radon in your water supply poses an inhalation risk and a small ingestion risk. Most of your risk from radon in water comes from radon released into the air when water is used for showering and other household purposes. Research has shown that your risk of lung cancer from breathing radon in the air is much larger than your risk of stomach cancer from swallowing water with radon on it.

Radon in your home’s water is not usually a problem when its source is surface water. A radon in water problem is more likely when its source is groundwater, e.g., a private well or a public water supply system that uses groundwater. Some public water systems treat their water to reduce radon levels before it is delivered to your home. If you are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the water and your water comes from a public water supply, contact your water supplier.

SkyTech of New Mexico is IAC2 certified. We are experienced and qualified to administer radon testing, indoor air quality testing, and environmental testing. Contact us today if you have questions or to schedule a consultation or testing.

Home Buyers and Sellers can find a comprehensive resource guide put out by the EPA here.

 

New Mexico Radon Zone Map by county courtesy of EPA
The EPA recommends action be taken to reduce radon levels in homes with
concentrations higher than 4 pCi/L.
(pCi/L = Pico curies per liter)

Contact us Click on map to enlarge and download printable view.
Contact us today to schedule your radon or other indoor air quality evaluation.
Email: Info@SkyTechNM.com
Schedule Online

 

 

 

Thank you to these resources for the information found in this article. You can find more information by clicking on these links:

New Mexico Radon Information

Radon Outreach – New Mexico Environment Department

Make Sure Your Property Inspection Includes Infrared Technology

Make Sure Your Property Inspection Includes Infrared Technology

Infrared thermography inspection uses infrared imaging technology that allows SkyTech of New Mexico, Inc. inspectors to point out concerns about a structure that no one can show you using other inspection methods. This infrared imaging produces images of invisible heat energy emitted from objects and systems in the building and allows us to see it in a picture. As we inspect properties in New Mexico, we use infrared technology to find hidden problems that you may not even know about.  This is a non-invasive, non-destruction inspection. Infrared imaging is a limited scan and most home inspectors are not Certified Thermographers, but the inspectors at SkyTech, Inc. are all certified in this technology.

Using Infrared technology to help find hidden damage or moisture can assist you to know hidden damage before you sell your home or detect damage in the home you are purchasing. Home inspections are conducted for many reasons. It is important in both the buying or selling process to know the condition of the property to assure that the sale process goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, not all inspections are the same – some of these inspections are better than the others. SkyTech has almost 20 years of experience and we pride ourselves in providing the most professional, comprehensive, and accurate inspections in New Mexico.

SkyTech uses infrared technology to identify hidden damage or moisture in a property.  This is what every professional property inspection company has in its arsenal of tools and SkyTech of New Mexico is no exception. Infrared cameras detect thermal anomalies that help to determine different temperature levels and convert them into a film or video image. The images are used to interpret moisture, energy efficiency, insulation value, and more. Since infrared is outside of the scope of a normal home inspection, most home inspectors typically do not have the tools, training, or certification to conduct and properly interpret infrared survey images. Infrared technology is standard in a SkyTech of New Mexico residential or commercial property inspection.

Ordinary property inspections where IR devices are not used will determine problems that are visible. With an IR device, you will bring the property inspection to another level and find problems that are not visible to the naked eye. For instance, if you suspect that there is a problem with moisture in your property, but you cannot detect the source, you’ve got two options – to drill holes in the walls or to use an IR device. Obviously, the latter is preferred. As we all know, moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, and mold is associated with many illnesses. In addition, mold and mildew can damage the structure of your home. But, moisture issues are not the only thing that you can detect with IR technology. An IR inspection can help property owners detect conditions like unbalanced loads, open circuits, loose connections, overloads, defective equipment, active ceiling stains, collapsed glass, assessment of heated floors, tiles shower leaks, insulation problems, electrical problems, and more. Whether it is a pre-sale property inspection or a buyers inspection, infrared inspections can lower repair costs because you will know exactly where the problem is located.

If you are planning on using property services, make sure that the home inspector uses infrared technology. This is by far the best home inspection in terms of effectiveness and convenience.SkyTech of New Mexico Property Inspectors is offering high-quality IR services to every property owner in New Mexico. The best part is that this activity is part of the regular property inspection.

Contact SkyTech of New Mexico today to schedule an inspection.
Call us at 505-445-8300    Email: info@skytechnm.com   Or Schedule Online at skytechnm.com

How To Keep Heating Costs Under Control

10 Home Heating Mistakes That Spike Your Bills

There are a lot of steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and there is a lot you can do to damage it too. Make the most of your energy spending this winter by avoiding these 10 common home heating mistakes.

Heating An Empty House

If you’re out of the house at work most of the day, or if you’re away for the weekend, don’t heat the house the way you would if you were lounging around there. Spring for a programmable thermostat, which will save you money on energy bills. Set it to turn down the heat while you’re away and warm up the house right before you return.

Not Locking Your Windows

Of course you keep your windows closed in the winter. But do you remember to lock them? If your windows are not sealed tightly, cold air can infiltrate your home and the warm air your furnace is producing could leak out. Be sure to lock all your windows during the winter months.

Cranking Up the Thermostat

Don’t make the mistake of trying to heat your home faster by cranking up the thermostat further than it needs to go. Turning your thermostat too high has no effect on how fast your home will heat up. Your furnace will just end up running longer—which will translate into a higher utility bill.

Not changing furnace filter

When the air filter is dirty, your furnace has to work harder and will use more energy doing so. Make sure you change out the air filter on a regular schedule. Your system will work more efficiently—and economically.

Ignoring Leaks and Drafts

Don’t underestimate how much heat your home could be losing as a result of leaks and drafts. Check all the doors, windows, and exterior walls for drafts. Seal and caulk any areas where cold air is coming in and warm air could leak out. Pay special attention to the basement and attic. They are generally the worst offenders.

Closing Vents In Unused Rooms

You might think it would make sense to close the vents in unoccupied rooms to save money. After all, why heat a room that’s empty? Well, the fact is that the ductwork for your heating system is sized to provide even heating throughout the house, and the system won’t work efficiently if you disrupt that balance by closing vents.

 

By Jennifer Noonan via Bob Vila https://www.bobvila.com/

Holiday Care Package For Those Who Might Need “Extra Care:

Holiday Care Package For Those Who Might Need “Extra Care:

Every year we all know someone who could use a little extra care at the holidays: maybe it’s a friend going through a tough time or someone who can’t be with their loved ones during the holidays. Or maybe it’s a family member who would love a military care package or a teacher or healthcare professional who deserves a big thank-you. A holiday care package is a personalized gift with some extra thought that can really brighten spirits. This is especially true in 2020. Looking for some ideas to show that you care? Maybe it’s you that needs a little treat or pampering this year. Here are some inspirations for you. This is especially true in 2020. Looking for some ideas to show that you care? Maybe it’s you that needs a little treat or pampering this year. I want to share ideas so we can all care for the people around us this holiday season. Here are some inspirations for you.

Holiday Care Package Basics

A care package can be a box brimming with things you know someone needs or loves. Or the contents can come together to tell a story. Or give your friend all the elements of an experience. Whichever way you go, here are some go-to gifts for holiday Christmas care packages.

Treats: Start with their favorite beverage, cookies, candy, or snacks.
A way to treat themselves: Throw in a gift card to their favorite restaurant, shop, theater, or online service.
Something helpful or useful: Give a holiday wine stopper with that bottle of wine, a pretty plate with cookies, or a cute card wallet with a gift card.
A little comfort: Add cozy socks, a candle with a relaxing scent, or a chunky mug.
Personal touches: Include a gift or keepsake that tells a story or adds a personal touch, like an ornament or picture frame (picture included).
The card: Because there’s no better way to tell them how much they mean to you.

Holiday Care Package to Say “Thanks”

Think about all the folks who make your life better and easier all year long: teachers, coaches, healthcare professionals, delivery folks, mail carriers, and your hairstylist. With these ideas, you can say thanks to all of them. These people have worked hard this year under trying circumstances to take care of all of us.

Teacher care package suggestions: Grab a gift card, their favorite treats, a teacher ornament, some good pens and pencils, teacher themed journal books, notepads and stationery, homemade cocoa mix or cookie mix, a good book, a quality teacher themed mask, fun smelling hand soap or hand sanitizer. fuzzy or fun socks, helpful classroom supplies, and a handwritten card from your kiddo.
Coach care package ideas:  For a sweet treat, fill a water bottle with wrapped candies and wrap it all in a box with a lanyard for a bow, a unique clipboard, a personalized coach t-shirt, and a handmade card from your child.
Neighbor care package ideas: Start with a holiday card and cute neighbor ornament and add a batch of cookies or (and?) a bottle of wine. More ideas: fairy lights or candles or garden tools, local chocolates, gift cards to local coffee shops, or a cute keychain.
Hairstylist care package ideas: Say thanks with a card and ornament made specifically for fabulous hairstylists. Doubling the usual tip is the traditional gift for a stylist, but a gift is an appropriate substitute if you know what they like. Consider a box of gourmet chocolates, a bottle of their favorite adult beverage, or a gift card to a nearby lunch or dinner spot.

Delivering Your Holiday Care Package

To make sure your gift of Christmas cheer arrives on time, think about where, how, and when to send it.

Where? And how? If you’re carrying presents across the street or across town, a festive gift basket, bag, or box stuffed with tissue might be plenty. If you’re shipping it across the country or across the ocean, you’ll obviously want to package for safety. Think about ways you can make the padding part of the gift: socks, mittens, scarves, wraps and throws all work for cushioning fragile items.
When? Lower your stress level by building buying, baking, packing up, and dropping off into your busy holiday schedule. Check shipping times (along with prices and other info) with your shipper.

Holiday Packages To Lift Spirits

Who doesn’t need a little comfort and joy during the holidays? If your loved one is missing someone, has a hall in need of decking, is feeling more stressed out than usual, or could use some holiday cheer, try putting some of these gifts together. You really don’t have to spend money to show someone you’re there for them, but giving a little gift can mean the world to someone who’s having a difficult time. 2020 has been hard on a lot of people. And if we’re being honest, sometimes it’s just nice to give yourself something sweet, too!

Comfy Cozy Package
Here are some ideas for packing a little extra warmth for someone feeling low:

  • snuggly socks
  • hot cocoa mix and marshmallows
  • cinnamon tea
  • a cute mug
  • a holiday-scented candle
  • a new book
  • a cozy blanket or wrap

Sweet Holidays Care Package
Remind someone you think they’re sweet with sugary surprises:

  • sugar or gingerbread cookies (or mix) and supplies to decorate them
  • hot cocoa with candy cane stirring sticks
  • Christmas candy
  • peppermint bark
  • milk-and-cookies-scented candle

Deck the Halls Care Package
Help someone festive-up their office, dorm room, or apartment with some of these (click on the text for the how-to text):

Cheers to Christmas
We call this one the “holiday survival kit”: gather the ingredients for a holiday cocktail, a pair of stemless wine glasses, cocktail napkins, crackers or cookies or chocolates or all of the above.

Care packages that say “I get you”

A themed care package is the perfect way to show you truly appreciate your friends’ favorite hobbies or interests.

The Happy Hour Pal
For the friend who knows where to get the best cocktails and which restaurant has the best charcuterie platter, bundle their favorites:

  • a bottle of wine or liquor
  • charcuterie board ingredients: cured meats and cheeses if you’re gifting locally, or gourmet crackers, good jams or
  • mustards and a jar of olives if you’re not
  • funny cocktail napkins, like these or these or these

 

The DIY Fan
If you know someone crafty, give a DIY bundle with the supplies to create their own (click on the text for the how-to text):

The Pet Lover
The Cat Mom or Daddy. The Dog Mom or Dog Father. You know them—and their pets. So why not make a care package for both?

  • pet treats and toys
  • human treats
  • matching pet and human outfits
  • a coffee shop gift card (for a latte and puppacino)
  • a frame for the kitten or pooch (add a picture you print from their social media account—you
  • know there are hundreds to choose from)
  • a cozy blanket to snuggle up in

Fun With the Family
For someone who loves spending time with family or goes on regular road trips, a family-focused care package could win Christmas.

  • a fun frame for a family picture (add one you find on social media)
  • a fun family puzzle or game
  • supplies for decorating sugar cookies or making a gingerbread house (or a kit to do either)
  • an Advent or countdown calendar
  • sharable snacks
  • hot cocoa, candy canes for stirring and mini-marshmallows
  • the link to a family dance party music playlist

The Finishing Touch

Once you’ve assembled all the items for your Christmas care package, add an extra touch of holiday wonder by arranging and wrapping your package in a festive way, and handwriting your message in a holiday card. You’ll end up with a gift that’s not only unique but really shows you know someone and care about them.

Originally published on Hallmark ideas and inspiration By on October 22, 2020

Inspired? Visit https://ideas.hallmark.com/

Celebrate National Cookie Day, December 4, 2020

Celebrate National Cookie Day, December 4, 2020

NATIONAL COOKIE DAY

National Cookie Day on December 4th serves up a sweet treat. Bakers across the country warm up the ovens for holiday baking, and we enjoy giving tins of cookies to friends and family all season long.
We can thank the Dutch for more than windmills and tulips. The English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word koekie, meaning “little cake.”
Hard cookie-like wafers have existed for as long as baking has been documented. Not surprisingly, they traveled well, too. However, they were usually not sweet enough to be considered cookies by modern-day standards.

The origin of the cookie appears to begin in Persia in the 7th century, soon after the use of sugar became common in the region. They then spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. Cookies were common at all levels of society throughout Europe by the 14th century, from the royal cuisine to the street vendors.

Cookies arrived in America in the 17th century. Macaroons and gingerbread cookies were among the popular early American cookies.

In most English-speaking countries outside of North America, the most common word for cookie is “biscuit.”  In some regions, both terms, cookies, and biscuits are used.

Cookies are classified into different categories, with the most common ones being:

Bar cookies – Drop cookies – Filled cookies
Molded cookies – No bake cookies
Pressed cookies – Refrigerator cookies
Rolled cookies – Sandwich cookies

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCookieDay

Pick up some cookies at your local bakery. Remember to share some of your cookies with your family and friends! A great way to get started is by making a list of your favorite cookies to bake and enjoy. Then organize your baking tools and start your assembly line.

NATIONAL COOKIE DAY HISTORY

In 1976, Sesame Street included National Cookie Day on its calendar for the first time on November 26th. The Cookie Monster also proclaimed his own National Cookie Day in the 1980 book The Sesame Street Dictionary.

Then in 1987, Matt Nader of the Blue Chip Cookie Company out of San Francisco created Cookie Day, celebrating it on December 4th.

National Day Calendar: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-cookie-day-december-4/

From The SkyTech Kitchen To Yours – Santa Fe Blue Corn Biscochitos

From The SkyTech Kitchen To Yours – Santa Fe Blue Corn Biscochitos

From The SkyTech Kitchen To Yours – Santa Fe Blue Corn Biscochitos

Our Chief Cookie Testing Officer Gives Her Firm Stamp Of Approval To This Recipe.

YIELDS 6 DOZEN
INGREDIENTS
1 LB PURE LARD (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE)
1 CUP SUGAR
2 EGGS
3 TSP ANISE
3 CUPS SIFTED ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
3 CUPS FINE GROUND BLUE CORN FLOUR (KNOWN LOCALLY AS HARINA PARA ATOLE)
3 TSP BAKING POWDER
1 TSP SALT
1/3 CUP VANILLA BRANDY (OR WHISKY IF DESIRED)
SET ASIDE: 1 CUP SUGAR AND 3 TSP CINNAMON
  1.  CREAM SUGAR AND LARD
  2. ADD EGGS AND ANISE
  3. SIFT FLOUR, SALT, AND BAKING POWDER AND COMBINE WITH LARD MIXTURE
  4. ADD ENOUGH VANILLA BRANDY TO MAKE DOUGH HOLD TOGETHER
  5. MIX WELL
  6. ROLL DOUGH OUT ON FLOURED SURFACE (APPROX 1/4″ THICK)
  7. CUT INTO DESIRED SHAPES
  8. SPRINKLE TOP OF COOKIES WITH SUGAR AND CINNAMON MIXTURE
  9. BAKE AT 325 DEG F FOR APPROX 15 MINUTES (COOKING TIME MAY VARY BY TYPE OF OVEN)
DOUGH CAN BE STORED IN REFRIGERATOR FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME IF WRAPPED TIGHTLY WITH PLASTIC WRAP
SERVE WITH HOT CHOCOLATE OR EGG NOG
ENJOY!

Be Safe This Thanksgiving!

Many New Mexicans have already started cooking for tomorrow’s festivities, but it’s never too late to review a few cooking fire safety tips! ?
Thanksgiving is nearly here. While many of us may be celebrating differently due to Covid 19, we here at the SkyTech of New Mexico suspect quite a few of you will still be doing a bit of cooking on Thursday.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that you are most likely to have a cooking fire – three times more likely in fact. To keep safe this Thanksgiving we offer these cooking tips:
  • Watch what you cook. Stay in the kitchen while grilling, frying or broiling food. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove or oven. If you’re boiling, baking or roasting food be sure to check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that the stove is in use.
  • Keep things which can burn away from the stove’s burners – this includes pot holders, oven mitts, food packaging, etc.
  • To prevent accidental burns wear clothing with short or close fitting sleeves. Keep pot handles rotated in towards the center of the stove and have a “kid-free” zone of three feet around the hot stove. If you do burn yourself remember to cool it with running water for 10-15 minutes.
  • If there is a fire in your oven, don’t panic. Turn off the oven, keep the door shut and call 911. If there is a fire in the pan on top of the stove, use a tight fitting lid to smother the fire. Do not put water on the fire, smother it with a dish towel or attempt to move the burning pan outside.
  • If you use a turkey fryer make sure it is only used outside on a flat, stable surface away from anything combustible (i.e. garage, deck, etc) and never leave it unattended. Do not overfill the fryer with oil and make sure the turkey is completely thawed before placing it in the fryer. To be extra safe keep an ABC or BC-rated fire extinguisher nearby.
Thank you for this publication to the Bangor Maine Fire Department
 

Using A Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher Safety tips

  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
    • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
    • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
    • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
  • For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
  • Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
  • Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

Portable Fire Extinguishers and Children

NFPA believes that children should not be trained how to operate portable fire extinguishers. Teaching children to use portable fire extinguishers runs counter to NFPA messaging to get out and stay out if there is a fire. Furthermore, children may not have the maturity to operate a portable fire extinguisher properly or decide whether or not a fire is small enough to be put out by the extinguisher. They may not have the physical ability to handle the extinguisher or dexterity to perform the complex actions required to put out a fire. In the process of extinguishing flames, children may not know how to respond if the fire spreads. NFPA continues to believe that only adults who know how to operate portable fire extinguishers should use them.

 

Information from nfpa.org

Home Fire Drills

Why Do I Need a Home Fire Drill?

Close to 50% of people who die in home fires were trying to escape when they died.

A developed exit plan, and practice of a home fire drill, might have saved their lives.

Here is what it is like to be in a fire.

  • “You can’t see anything in front of you.”
  • “You can t breathe.”
  • “It’s hot. It s dark. It s hostile.”
  • “You don t know what to expect.”
  • “You have to go by feel.”
  • “A 15-foot hallway seems 50 miles long.”
  • “You can easily become unraveled.”
  • “It’s not a place where humans are ever expected to go.”

Make an Escape Plan

It is important to have a plan when there are children in your home. Children sometimes need help getting out of the house. They may not know how to escape or what to do unless an adult shows them.

Have a plan for young children who cannot get outside by themselves. You will need to wake babies and very young children and help them get out. In your plan, talk about who will help each child get out safely.

It is important to learn two ways out of every room in your home, in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use.

Remember, if there is smoke, you need to get low and go to your exits. So practice getting low and moving to your exits.

Choose a safe meeting place a safe distance from your home. Children should know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around. Help them practice going to the outside meeting place. Teach them to never go back inside a building that is on fire.

Have a home fire drill at least twice a year. So everyone can practice what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.

Children and Fire Safety

Children can become scared and confused during emergencies, so teach them to never hide from firefighters.

Teach children to NEVER go back inside a burning building. Once they are out, stay out!

Teach your child to get low and crawl on the ground, where the air is less smoky.

Show a child how to use the back of his hand to check doors for heat before opening and to use a different way out, if the door is hot.
If your child needs to use an escape ladder, show him/her where you keep it and practice how to use it.

Help Me Plan My Home Fire Drill

Everyone in your household should take part in planning your escape. Fires can start anywhere in the home and at any time, so run through the plan at different times of the day or night, and practice different ways out.
  • Think about how you will escape from every room, starting with bedrooms.
  • If possible, plan two escape routes from each room. Your second route may be to go out a window or stand at a window where firefighters can see you.
  • Decide where you will meet outside. Explain to your kids that when the smoke alarm beeps, they need to get out of the house quickly and meet at that safety spot.
  • Plan everyone s role. Who will make sure children get out? Plan for special needs. Do you have: Young children? Older adults? People with temporary or permanent disabilities? Do you ever have overnight guests?
  • Share your plan with babysitters and frequent visitors.
  • Keep your floors, hallways and stairs clear of clutter.
  • Fire extinguishers require planning too.
  • Practice your home fire drill. Have kids head to their bedrooms and wait for the drill to begin. For children under 6 years old, assign adults to help anyone who’ll need it. Put one adult in charge of sounding the smoke alarm and running the drill. Next, sound the smoke alarm, start the timer and have everyone book it to the safety spot. Once everyone gets to the safe meeting place stop the timer. If you all made it in under two minutes, you each get an imaginary gold medal. If not, give it another try. In a real fire, get to the safe meeting place, then call 911 and keep everyone close until firefighters arrive.

Help me Practice My Home Fire Drill

  • At least twice a year, push the smoke alarm button to start your home fire drill.
  • Get out fast.
  • Practice escaping from bedrooms when people are asleep.
  • Make sure everyone in your household can open all doors and windows. Security bars on windows should have emergency release devices so they can be opened easily from the inside.
  • Go to your meeting place.
  • In a real fire, get out and stay out.
  • Call 9-1-1 from outside.

What You Need To Know About Smoke Alarms

  • Know what types of smoke alarms are available for your needs.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your house, especially outside bedrooms.
  • Test your smoke alarm once a month. Change standard batteries twice a year.

Make a Home Escape Plan in Case of Fire

Did you know 50% of homeowners in the U.S. don’t have an emergency escape plan? In the event of a home safety emergency, every second counts. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you may have less than two minutes to escape after your smoke alarms sound. That’s why it’s important to be prepared by planning and practicing an escape route with the entire family for safe evacuation. By planning, practicing, and repeating your emergency escape plan, you can help ensure a safe escape.

Make an Emergency Escape Plan (Download a Plan Sheet Now)

Walk through your home with your family and identify multiple exits out of each room in the house. If windows or doors are blocked, clear them so they can be easily accessed and opened to exit through. It is recommended that you have 2 exit routes from every room in your house. For two-story houses, consider equipping bedrooms with escape ladders to provide additional, safe evacuation routes. When escaping from a business building, employees should follow the escape plan procedures put in place by that business.

Dedicate someone to assists pets, small children, infants, elderly, or those with disabilities out of the home.
Assign a meeting spot outside that is a safe distance away from your house like the mailbox, tree, or neighbor’s house. It is important that everyone in the household knows where to meet once they get out of the house.
Ensure your street address is clearly visible on your home or mailbox for emergency first responders.
If you have children, teach them how to call 9-1-1 once outside at your meeting spot and help them memorize your home address

Practice Your Emergency Escape Plan

Once you have your emergency escape plan, it’s time to practice the evacuation route. The NFPA recommends executing your emergency escape plan twice a year, as well as at night. It is a good idea to draw a map of your home and plot multiple exits out of every room, so everyone knows the evacuation plan. Knowing you have a safety plan in place in the event of an emergency will not only give you peace of mind but confidence that your family is prepared. To get started, download our home escape plan worksheet.

If the Smoke Alarms Sound:

Smoke alarms are just as important as your emergency escape route because they alert your family of potential danger. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on each level. Be sure to test them monthly and replace the batteries every six months, or for hassle-free protection, upgrade to 10-year sealed battery alarms to eliminate the need for battery replacements. Remember, you may have less than minutes to escape so plan, practice and repeat your escape route to help protect what matters most.

  • Follow your family’s escape plan.
  • Get low and crawl under the smoke.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave to slow the fire from spreading.
  • Once everyone is out, stay out! You should never return to a burning building. Please leave this to the firefighters and inform them if someone is missing.
  • Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

Other Preventative Safety Measures

Take these preventative safety measures into consideration to help reduce your risk of fire

  • Make sure all kitchen appliances are in proper working order and are unplugged when not in use.
  • While you are cooking, never leave the stovetop or oven unattended. A skillet or pot could easily overrun and catch fire.
  • Ensure there is nothing surrounding the stove while it is in use, like dishtowels or food scraps, as they are potential fire hazards.
  • Never leave lit candles or fireplaces unattended. It is important to be present near an open flame
  • Regularly have all vents and furnaces checked to help ensure your home is operating as safely as possible.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. Read the directions to be sure you know how to use it and regularly check its expiration so, in the event of a small fire, you have a working fire extinguisher and know how to use it.

 

*First Alert Consumer Target Identification and Segmentation Report, Insights in Marketing, June 2016

Source: National Fire Protection Association