Home fires can strike at any time. Each year, nearly 390,000 home fires in the U.S. result in death, injury and property damage. As with anything, the best defense is a good offense. Planning, fire prevention and practice is key. Have a meeting with everyone in the home and plan different escape routes. Try to visualize the fire from every room in your home and feel your way out by closing your eyes and trying to find the exit.
Thick smoke is not only deadly, it makes it difficult to breathe and see your way to safety. Should you have a fire, stay low and practice finding the exit. Identify markers or touch points that can be landmarks along the escape route when it's hard to see. Remind family members that in case of fire, get out first and call 911 from a neighbor's home. Most importantly, don't forget to regularly test smoke alarms to be sure they are working correctly. In case of a home fire, your dreams don't have to go up in smoke.