Fire Extinguishers

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These are cheap and available most everywhere. A handy $20 fire extinguisher is the only reason my workshop is not a scorched slab today after an unfortunate accident with a propane torch years ago. Keep one in the kitchen, the car and near the fireplace. Make sure everybody knows where they are and how they work.

Early Detection

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Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is the product of most any incomplete combustion process. Human hemoglobin has a much greater affinity for CO than it does for oxygen, so suffocation in the presence of significant CO concentrations is actually quick and painless. Most modern detectors are sensitive to both smoke and CO and are very reasonably priced. Test them regularly, install one anywhere you or your kids might sleep, and take one along in the camper while traveling. Smoke detectors are ubiquitous and inexpensive. There is no excuse to be without them.

Crisis Tools

fire, fires, fire safety, house fire, house fire safety

Stash a hatchet or prying tool at a place where you can find it in the dark and in a hurry. Some doors require keys to lock both inside and out and knocking a window out with a hatchet is infinitely preferable to using your hands.

RELATED: 22 Ways to Prevent a House Fire

Escape Ladders

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Kidde KL-2S Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder with Anti-Slip Rungs

If the window is on the second floor you will need some way to get down without breaking your legs. Folding rigid ladders or rope versions that roll up and tuck away are available at modest cost. Practice with the gear when it is peaceful so you aren’t trying to read the instructions by the light of a house fire.

Fight The Darkness

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Surefire G2X Fire Rescue Pro

Chances are that if you are crawling around on the floor trying to escape a house fire, it will be dark and disorienting. Keep a good-quality flashlight next to each bed, and change out the batteries every year on your birthday.

RELATED: Flame Free – FEMA’s 35 Fire-Prevention Safety Tips

Comm Options

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iPhone 6

Many Americans no longer maintain landline phones in these days of cellular devices. Teach children to be able to relate their address and dial 911 as soon as they are old enough to understand. Keep your cell in a consistent spot at night so you can find it in the dark without any undue groping. Charging your phone in the same place in the house every time is an easy way to establish these habits.