Be Ready Utah PrepCast Episode 10: Safety and Security, Part 1 (Home Safety)

Be Ready Utah PrepCast Episode 10: Safety and Security, Part 1 (Home Safety)


[jazzy music] Wade: Welcome to this episode of the Be Ready Utah PrepCast. I’m Wade Mathews, Be Ready Utah manager here at the Utah
Division of Emergency Management. Also with me today are Bryan Stinson and Jeff
Johnson, both emergency preparedness outreach specialists as well, our local
experts here on emergency preparedness. Today we are talking about security and
safety, safety and security, either way you look at it. In the
past episodes we have talked about earthquake safety with with things like
“drop cover and hold on”, and keeping a flashlight and good pair of shoes by
your bed at night. We’ve talked about flood safety, “turn around, don’t drown”,
wildfire safety, creating defensible spaces and– Bryan: Cleaning out your gutters.
Wade: Right. Yes, the things around your home to keep the the risk down for wildfire
danger there. And so today this safety is about all other things in the home.
Safety in the home, basically, right? Jeff: Surviving. Wade: Okay. All right. And those
episodes that I talked about are all available on the Be Ready Utah YouTube
channel, as well as this one, and on our social media outlets, Facebook
and Twitter. So go check those out there, and in the meantime, safety, in the home,
keeping ourselves survivable. All right so … what do we want to talk about?
Smoke alarms? Jeff: Let’s talk about smoke detectors. They’re very important. The Red Cross has
had a huge home fire prevention program going on for the last two years, and
they’re giving away free smoke detectors. And you really ought to have one in
every bedroom, but at least one on every floor, at minimum. If you have one on
every floor your chances of survival in a fire go way up. I’ve seen house
fires in my previous career, and that made me put nine smoke detectors in my
home. That’s because I helped to remove people who didn’t survive being in their
homes. And so I have a lot of smoke detectors. They’re very important to your
survival. They’re very important to waking you up before you become
affected by the smoke that’s in your house. And so the more the better,
but the standard rule is one per floor. So if you have one floor one, smoke
detector. If you have two, two smoke detectors. If you have three floors, you
want to go to that third one. But putting them closer to where you sleep is really,
really critical so that you do wake up if there’s a smoke issue in your house. Wade: That applies to smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms both. Jeff: Yes. Wade: To increase
that survivability rate if those types of things happen. Now you’re saying
that’s kind of the standard rule, but I don’t know, I can’t quote it exactly, but
it’s code now. New homes, isn’t that standard? It has to be built into the house,
or included in the house. Bryan: Well I know a lot of– we just moved
into a new home, new to us, a couple of years ago. One thing we found with our
smoke detectors, they’re all interconnected, and I think that’s
becoming pretty standard. So the cool thing about that, one smoke
detector goes off, they all go off. So, you know, something happens down in the
basement, you don’t have to wait for the smoke to get all the way up there. As
soon as it goes off, they all go off. So everybody wakes up. Wade: Now those types of
smoke alarms, and we have a standard smoke alarm that’s not interconnected,
those we want to check batteries on and make sure those are working at least
twice a year, spring and fall. The interconnected ones, are they battery
operated or are they running on electric current from the home? Bryan: They’re battery
operated as well, they’re interconnected but they have battery backups, so those need to be rotated every six months as well. Wade: Okay, so we talked about
the batteries, we want to check those, rotate those twice a year, how often do
you just want to check it? How often do you want to go push that button? Because
there’s a button on there, test the alarms. When should we do that? Bryan: Every single month. And one thing that my family does when we do that, is–
sometimes I don’t tell everybody that I’m going to test them, or test the smoke
detectors, and so they know when that goes off, we all do our emergency
evacuation plan as well. Wade: You’re conducting a drill. Bryan: Yep.
Wade: Exactly. Okay. Jeff: And a lot of people check them– with things that cause reminders in your life.
Daylight savings time, and spring and fall, is a good time
to check your batteries and make sure the batteries are still– Wade: Or just change them. Jeff: And a lot of the new smoke detectors, if you purchase new ones, have 10-year
batteries in them. They’re not just the one-year battery anymore. The industry
has moved to ten-year batteries. All the detectors in my home– I have two
hardwired and seven that have ten-year batteries, so… Wade: Alright, great. Moving on. So
the next thing you want to make sure we have in our home to be safe are fire
extinguishers. Again, one on every floor, one in the kitchen, one in the
garage, and having a little bit of training, or at least some knowledge
about how to use those, and making sure you’ve got the right type. There’s
the ABC, ABCD, just the K for kitchen. The various types, making sure that you’ve
got the basic all things combustible type fire extinguisher, the ABC. Jeff: And keeping the one downstairs near your furnace and water heater is a good idea,
the one upstairs near the kitchen. Those are both excellent places to put
them. Wade: The industry also has started dating fire extinguishers and they
basically have a 12 year lifespan so to speak. If you’re getting the high quality
ones in those 12 years, or at the end of those 12 years you may want to get them
checked, recharged, refilled, make sure everything’s still working, or maybe the
cheaper ones, you just get a new one. Jeff: That’s the same thing with your
smoke detectors and CO detectors. Ten years. Wade: Ten year lifespan as well. And Bryan, you were gonna say something about getting a new one. Bryan: Well I was gonna say
something about placement of them. We talked about the rooms, but I would also
say that it’s important to think about, where in the room is this fire going to
start? You don’t want to have your fire extinguisher right next to the the fire,
right next to the stove. You want to have it maybe a little bit, defensible space,
away from it, so that if the fire starts, “Well I’d like to get to my fire
extinguisher, but it’s behind the fire.” That’s not gonna work. Make sure you’ve
got some space between you and where the potential fire might start as
to where you’re going to store that fire extinguisher. Wade: Exactly. And if you’re gonna
be replacing that, getting a new one, take that old folks fire extinguisher out in
the backyard and just use it once. Try it. Let the family members use that fire
extinguisher so they are familiar with it if they ever needed to use it in an
emergency, in a panic situation. And there’s an acronym we want to use to
remind us how to use that properly: PASS, P.A.S.S. So you want to Pull the pin. We
should have had a fire extinguisher here. We’ve got a picture of one on our Home
Hazard Hunt brochure available on our website: BeReadyUtah.gov, but “P”ull the
pin. “A”im the nozzle. The first “S” is “S”queeze the trigger, which is the top
part of the fire extinguishers, because the handle rests in the palm. And then “S”weep
back and forth at the base of the fire. P.A.S.S., Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. Jeff: And that last test is really important in the fact that, most people aim at the flames.
And you’ve got to go at the base of the fire. Wade: Exactly. Jeff: You’ve got to put out
what’s causing the fire, not the flames. Wade: Right. All right, let’s move on to a
little bit more of our home safety like, escaping a house in a dangerous
situation, fire basically. So what do we need to have there? Bryan: Well, I was talking
about when we do our little fire escapes, when we’ve tested the the battery, smoke
alarm. We do our little escapes and one thing we try and do is teach everybody,
“Okay, think about two escapes in every single room. So like for example, if we’re
in the family room, we can either go out the front door or we can go out the back
door. Two escapes from that room. If we’re in one of the bedrooms, we could go out
the bedroom door or, if in case that’s blocked, out a window. But that
also brings up another thing, if your bedrooms or any of the
rooms are in on upper floor and your second out is through a window, you’ve
gonna have a safe way of getting out of that window. So have plans on having a
fire escape ladder, something like that. There’s some quick deploy ones that you
just pull a cord and [deploy sound], the ladder just comes right out, and that’s something
that you can use for escaping. But make sure that you’ve got two escapes from
every single room. Jeff: The fire service calls these “exit drills in the home”.
And they also recommend that if you are going to have to go out through a
window, that younger children practice this. You do a drill with them, because
pushing a screen out is not as easy sometimes as people think it is, and
especially for a younger child, that needs to be practiced, and they make sure
that they have that life-saving skill. Wade: Excellent. And one last tip for the home
escape type thing is, making sure your house number is clearly
visible from the street, so the fire, the ambulance, the policeman, they can find
those quickly when they’re trying to find your house, when you’ve called 911. Bryan: I think going along with that,
make sure it’s visible both day and night. Because, “Oh yeah, I can see
my house number during the daylight”, but if it’s dark and you
don’t have any light shining on it, it doesn’t do you any good at night.
Wade: Okay. Excellent. Jeff: As a first responder, I’ll tell you it’s really hard to find homes sometimes
because people don’t mark them correctly. and have them multiple marked, out on the
curb, on the front of the house, above the garage doors, and places that are easily
accessible, can save lives. Wade: Alright. And the last thing we’re going
to talk about that can save lives, is child safety in the home. So one of the
hazards now that we’re talking about, curtain chords you know blind
cords. What do we do with those? Bryan: Cut them. Wade: Cut them off. Bryan: Yeah, a lot of times, the
old time– in fact I think it’s industry or standard now that they don’t have
cords that have the loop, but the older ones, if you happen to have an older one
make sure you cut that so that it’s not a choking hazard. Wade: Okay. Bryan: Periodically, I mean within
the last few years, we’ve heard stories, unfortunately, of young
children being killed by those cords. Wade: Other stories we’ve heard recently in
the news are children falling from higher floors on the house, falling out
the window. So you want to make sure you’ve got some type of a barricade, or
way that they can’t push out the screen and fall out the windows on upper floors. Jeff: If you’re gonna open your windows on an upper floor with young children, make
sure they’re secured. There are multiple things you can buy to do that. Home
hardware stores have those, so yeah, that’s been on the news three
times the last month. Wade: Yes it has. Window guards, basically. Locks on kitchen cabinets,
your cleaning supplies, all those poisonous, toxic liquids, and things. You
want to keep childproof locks on those types of things. What else? Jeff: Well there’s great internet websites about child proofing your home. We don’t have time
today to go over all of those things, but people that, say, have young children the
home, should look for child proofing websites, and they can read up on this and do those things in the home. Wade: Exactly. In fact,
we don’t have any more time. So do you have anything else
you want to add, Bryan? Bryan: Well, I just want to say that as we’re keeping our homes
safe, there’s a good feeling that comes over you, that, our
homes are supposed to be a place of safety, and that’s what we want,
especially in preparing for an emergency. Things are gonna be chaotic if there is
an emergency or disaster. So keep our houses as safe as possible beforehand, so
if something catastrophic could happen around there, our homes are still
relatively safe. Wade: Great. And again, we are ultimately responsible for our own
safety. We can’t blame anybody else if something happens. We need to take action.
Do some of these things now. Don’t wait for the emergency to start putting these
things into place, and be responsible for our own safety and our family’s safety.
Thank you guys very much. BeReadyUtah.gov, you can find great
information on home hazard hunt, making your house safe and in various threats.
Be Ready Utah PrepCast, #BRUPrepCast is on our social media also. Again, Be Ready Utah YouTube channel. This is Part 1. We’re gonna have Part 2
talking about security in the next episode. Thanks for watching, and we’ll
see you next time. [jazzy music] [rock music] Hey! Hope you enjoyed this episode of the Be Ready Utah PrepCast. Like what you’re seeing?
Have a question about anything related to emergency preparedness? Or do
you have a comment about something you’ve learned as you make a plan or get
a kit? We’d love to hear from you. Comment or reply to us on Twitter or Facebook, @BeReadyUtah with #BRUPrepCast, or in the comments on YouTube.
We’ll talk about it on one of the next episodes of the Be Ready Utah PrepCast.
Don’t forget to share these videos and your own adventures in preparedness with
your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers because anytime is a good
time to talk about emergency preparedness. See you next time! [rock music]

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