March 10, 2018
Spring has sprung! With spring comes beautiful flowers and a few rain showers, barbecues and families gathered around the fire pit but that’s not all. Spring also has the second highest rate of accidental and natural brush fires, next to the summer months.
According to FEMA, the 3 months of spring contribute to about 30% of the years tree, grass, and brush fires. This is due to the decrease of humidity and the increase of wind speeds. During spring, the trees are still shedding the remains of their old leaves and adding them to the accumulation of the past fall’s leaf volume which contributes to the spreading of small fires, creating large fires. The trees aren’t able to redirect the sunlight from these flammable surfaces because their new leaves are still budding which causes these fallen leaves to act as an ignition of the dry grass and brush.
Being in the Texas Hill Country puts just about everyone in a possible pathway for a brush fire, due to the lush trees and grass in the area. This is why it is important to make sure you have the right amount of working smoke detectors in your home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends homes should have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Having a working smoke detector in your home can reduce the risk of death by half. Here are some tips to making sure your home and smoke detector are prepared for the increase of spring brush and wildfires.
- Interconnecting your smoke detectors is a useful tip. This means when one goes off, they all go off.
- At least once a month, smoke alarms need to be tested by pressing the test button on each smoke alarm to make sure it is working correctly.
- If your smoke detector is over 10 years old, it’s time to replace it. It is recommended to purchase new detectors every decade.
Brush fires aren’t the only reason to have the right amount of working smoke detectors in your home. Other ways fires can be caused is by outdoor fire pits, barbecue pits, kitchen stoves and ovens, washing machines and dryers, portable fireplaces, portable generators, candles, and even electronic toys.
Along with the safety of smoke detectors, it is important to have safety and escape plans for yourself and your family. Creating and practicing plans can save the lives of the ones you love. The tips below can help to create a success plan of escape.
- Walk through your home and inspect any possible exits or escape routes.
- Homes with children or an elderly person should consider having a drawn out floor plan with the exits marked clearly, as well as marking the location of each smoke detector.
- In each room, having two possible exits (doors and windows) is advised.
Involving your family in fire safety planning in a non-threatening way can ensure that everyone is well educated in the safe evacuation in the event of a fire.
In summary, having a working and tested smoke detector and a clearly planned home evacuation plan can save your life as well as the lives of your family members during the rise of fires contributed to the spring season. For more information, you can contact your local fire department.