Take the Home Safety Quiz!

With the holidays fast approaching, I ask that each reader take a moment to consider a different perspective: home safety. After all, as the weather turns cold and homes heat up, so does the chance that your family could experience a home fire or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The National Fire Protection Association reports most home fires and CO poisonings occur in winter. Besides heating appliances, seasonal activities such as increased cooking, using candles and decorating Christmas trees all add to the risk.

Below is a great Home Safety Quiz that you can take to help to ensure that your home is as safe as possible this winter. In fact we took the quiz and you can find our results {and a few good momma tips as well} below.

Puppy Home

One in four older homes needs to update fire safety equipment. How old are your alarms?

  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Replace CO alarms every five to 10 years, based on the model.
  • Purchase an alarm with a 10-year sealed lithium battery, such as Kidde Worry-Free smoke and CO alarms, to receive hassle-free protection for a decade –no need to change a battery or hear a low battery chirp. Available nationwide at retailers like The Home Depot and Walmart, each alarm installed will save you $40 over its life in battery costs.

Seventy-five percent of homeowners don’t know where to install smoke alarms. Do you have one on every floor, and inside/outside all bedrooms?

  • Choose alarms with room-specific features, such as an LED light in the hallway, or a voice notification for the bedroom.
  • Place a CO alarm near sleeping areas and on each floor. Keep them 10 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

Do your alarms incorporate the newest features and technology?

  • A sealed-in 10-year lithium battery continuously powers the alarm for 10 years.  It’s tamper-proof and can’t be removed.
  • A digital display shows the level of CO in the air and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
  • An intelligent multi-sensor responds faster to real fires and CO, plus it reduces nuisance alarms like those commonly caused by cooking.
  • An end-of-life warning lets you know when to replace your alarms.

Do you need other safety products?

  • Fire extinguisher – place one within reach in rooms where fires often begin: kitchen, garage, bedroom, living area
  • Escape ladder – place in second and third-floor rooms as an alternative escape route

Have you developed a family escape plan?

  • Practice it regularly. Know two ways out of every room and who will assist children and loved ones with mobility/health issues.

Do your children know their address and how to dial 911?

  • Post your home address and emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator.

Are your appliances and chimney winter-ready?

  • Have a professional inspect fuel-burning appliances to ensure they function properly and that they vent outside.
  • Have a professional clean or inspect fireplaces annually. Birds and small animals can make nests and leaves can build up on top of the chimney, preventing carbon monoxide from venting properly.
  • Have you created a 3-foot clutter free zone around fireplaces, space heaters or wood stoves?

For a downloadable winter home project checklist and other information, visit www.worryfreealarm.com.

Winter Window Photograph

The Momma Results!

One in four older homes needs to update fire safety equipment. How old are your alarms?

Eek! I honestly don’t know. I started renting this house about 2.5 years ago and have not replaced the alarms since living here so I know they are at least that old. And, to be honest, I don’t think that the landlord changed them in between tenants. So there’s really no telling. I wonder if there is some kid of way to find out. Perhaps checking the batch number would provide me with some information. Either way, I should probably replace it. I know that the fire department in my town offers to replace the fire alarms in your house for free. They provide you with alarms for every single room in the house and even install them for you. I think that is a pretty cool service that probably saves lives. I know that I’ve had a few cooking disasters and was thankful to have a fire alarm that works.

Seventy-five percent of homeowners don’t know where to install smoke alarms. Do you have one on every floor, and inside/outside all bedrooms?

I do know that you are supposed to have them in every room, but to be honest I only have one in the cooking area that actually works. The ones in the bedroom are pretty much just there for decoration. Shame on me! I need to remedy that ASAP. But I do get a point for the one in the kitchen, right? And, to be fair, my house is really small and only one level, so that one alarm pretty much sounds throughout the entire house. Not good enough? Oh dear, I feel like this is a test that I am failing.

Do your alarms incorporate the newest features and technology?

I’m going to have to go with a no on this one. It’s just a regular smoke alarm. When it goes off I typically find myself standing in a chair, waving a book or newspaper in front of it to blow away the smoke so that it will stop yelling at me. I honestly don’t even know what types of features and technology are available for alarms.

Do you need other safety products?

Oh my gosh! Yes! I really do. I need new smoke alarms, a carbon monoxide alarm, and a home security alarm. I really want to feel safe and secure in my home and I think that having these types of alarms would help me to feel as though that has been achieved.

Have you developed a family escape plan?

You know, I was just thinking about this not too long ago. However, I haven’t come up with a solid plan. It’s sort of scary to have to think about things like this. Especially as a parent. You don’t want to have to think about anything bad happening to your family. But I suppose it is better to think about and prepare for them in case they happen as opposed to NOT prepare and have them happen.

Do your children know their address and how to dial 911?

My son is 3 so he doesn’t know that information, but as soon as he is old enough to understand, I would like to teach him that type of information. You never know when it will come in handy. You hear these stories about kids who have had to call 911 because of medical emergencies, home invasions, and things of that nature. It is always great to hear that the child was taught what to do in a situation where they needed to get help. I even experienced that firsthand. I was at the National Zoo one day and a little boy was standing in the middle of an exhibit just crying. I stopped and asked him what was wrong. He didn’t answer me – he just reached his hand out and slipped a piece of paper to me. On it one of his parents had written down their cell phone number. I called and told them that I had found their son and where they could meet us. Even a simple measure like that could save your child’s life.

Are your appliances and chimney winter-ready?

I don’t have a chimney so I don’t need to worry about that. I am considering having some guys come over to see whether or not my windows and doors need to be sealed to make my home more energy efficient. I’d like to be able to keep the cool air out and the heat indoors. It saves money since I wouldn’t need to run the heater as often.

What tips do you have to help keep your home safe?

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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