This year, 86 people have lost their lives in Michigan as the result of a fire in their homes. In the month of October alone, fatal home fires claimed the lives of seven children and 10 adults. In response to these recent fire tragedies, State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer is urging Michiganders to develop and practice a fire escape plan with their families.
The LARA Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) has created a document for Michiganders to review, download, and print to help them develop their fire escape plan. Once the plan is established, it is important that families practice it often since, on average, they will have less than three minutes to escape a home fire due to the toxic gasses, smoke, and lack of oxygen.
Working smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire. Smoke alarms should installed on every level of every home, including the basement and a smoke alarm in every bedroom or sleeping area. Michiganders are reminded to change the batteries annually if they have 9-volt smoke alarms.
Carbon monoxide detectors are also critically important safety equipment for homes. Carbon monoxide is called the invisible killer as carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide detectors need fresh batteries at least once every year, unless powered by sealed ten-year batteries, which should then be tested once a month to make sure they are working properly.