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Fire Safety: The Importance of Fire Alarms in Your Home

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Home Safety—I was sitting on my couch the other night with my husband watching the television when our fire alarm started chirping. This is one of the most annoying sounds. I guess I should be happy that this didn't happen at 3 a.m. like it usually does. I have to be honest, I actually told my husband to take the battery out of the alarm until we could buy new batteries in an effort to get the thing to stop making noise.

Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics indicate that the primary reasons smoke alarms fail to operate in home structure fires is a missing/disconnected battery (50%) and dead/discharged battery (23%). When your alarm starts chirping, it is sign that the batteries need to be replaced to keep you and your family safe from a potentially deadly fire.

I had the opportunity to install a Kidde alarm in my home and was so impressed at how simple it was to put it in place. This fall, Kidde is launching a line of Worry-Free Smoke Alarms, which offer a variety of benefits to the millions of Americans who rely on continuous battery-powered smoke and fire detection in their homes. The new alarms are powered by sealed-in, long-life lithium batteries for 10 years (the life of the alarm). No more having to change batteries every 6 months. You have got to love that.

Having a fire alarm in your home is not only important, but life saving. I recently met a blogger who shared a story with me about one of her family members. I was so moved by the story that I asked her if I could share it with you. It forever changed the way I think about my chirping fire alarm. Here is an account from Kristen Grumbine about the dangers of not having a fire alarm:

"The beginning of June 2008, Matthew Miller had taken over a home which his paralyzed father and sister were renting. It was a one floor home with only one entrance/exit door in the kitchen. In the early morning hours of July 16, 2008, Matthew awoke to his blanket burning on top of him, and the entire house engulfed in smoke and flames. Since the windows were too small to escape, he knew he would have to run through the fire to the exit. When he reached the kitchen door, burning and in shock, he had to unlock two doorknob locks and a chain linked lock. After putting out his burning clothes in the grass, he had to run down the road to call for help. He was life flighted to UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA."

"He had a total of 78% of his body burned. During his three month stay, he endured kidney failure requiring dialysis, 'super infections' such as pseudomonas, and daily body scrubbings to remove the dead tissues from head to toe. After the investigation, the fire department determined that the cause was 'unknown', but may have been caused by a faulty window air conditioning unit. If his father had not moved one month prior, he would have perished, being paralyzed. After the incident, we realized that the home did not have any fire alarms. The house was beyond repair, and was torn down. In the years that passed, he had undergone several surgeries including reconstruction and constriction repairs of his elbows, knees, and mouth. Not having a fire alarm to alert him at the start of the fire has cost his life and future. He was only 23 years old."

For more information on the Worry-Free Smoke Alarm, visit the Kidde website (including a product video): www.WorryFreeAlarm.com You can also find this product on the Home Deopot website at http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=Kidde&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053

How often do you change the batteries in your fire alarms at home?

Jill Greenlaw has a banking background. She gave that up 17 years ago when she got married and started having kids. She loved being a stay-at-home mom while raising her four beautiful children. A few years ago, Jill went back to work in sales. She is now working for the Mom It Forward team as their Community Manager. She loves her job. Her interests include camping, motorcycling, boating, photography, reading, cooking, and traveling. Put her in flip flops anywhere warm and she is happy.

I was compensated for this post with product. All opinions in the post are my own.

Follow @Kidde_Safety on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiddeSafety or Facebook: www.facebook.com/Kidde.

“Be a Hero, Save a Hero” pledge, where people can pledge to take simple home fire safety steps to help keep firefighters safe: www.AlarmPledge.com

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Jill Greenlaw

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