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Fires up over the winter! Are you prepared?

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Last night when Charlotte was getting ready for bed, I noticed she had a nightgown on with pants. I was like…”Um, Charlotte? Why in the world are you wearing pants with your nightgown?”

She responded “In case of a fire, I want to have pants on.”

While I was a little taken aback of her preparation, her answer didn’t surprise me much. Back in 2008 we had a kitchen fire.

kitchen fire

kitchen fire

Charlotte (she was almost 3) and daddy were at the mall and not home, but they came back to a firetruck, police and $20,000 worth of damage. And with most home fires and CO poisonings occurring in winter, the time to talk to everyone about it is now!  Heating appliances, seasonal activities such as increased cooking, using candles and decorating Christmas trees all add to the risk and chance of your family or someone around you experiencing fire.

So when Kidde, the world’s leading manufacturer of fire safety products, asked me to take a quiz and see how up to speed we are in our house and share our results, I knew it was important.

Fire Safety Quiz

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

Our Home: Our home is 6 years old, so our alarms are 6 years old. We also have them hooked up to our security system.


  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Replace CO alarms every 5 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?

Our Home: Yes! We do have have alarms on every level and in every hallway and bedroom.


  • 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?

Our Home: We can only assume that they do as our house isn’t that old, but we use regular batteries so when the battery is low it chirps. I once had to call my neighbors over to fix it because I couldn’t reach it.


  • 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?

Our Home: We have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen only right now and no escape ladder. I am putting those on our list right now.


  • 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?

Our Home: When you are upstairs, the only place out is through a window. We only have one set of stairs.


  • 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?

Our Home: My daugher does and she has the cell phone codes to get into the phone as well. My son is not old enough yet.


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

 Are your appliances and chimney winter-ready?

Our Home: I believe they are. I also do not run our fireplace and we have the gas completely off for it.


  • 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?

One thing we didn’t have was a Carbon Monoxide detector and Kidde sent us one as a courtesy! I think it served to freak Charlotte out a little more, but we had a talk about how it protects us.

carbon monoxide alarm


From our family to yours, we want you to have a safe holiday. Please take the above quiz yourself and see if your home has everything it needs to ensure your safety. Fire moves quick and can be very deadly (trust me, I know..that damage was under 5 minutes in flames!).

The time to protect yourself is now.

Learn more about Smoke Alarms that only need batteries every 10 years and more by heading to Kidde.

Have you ever had a fire?


Kidde provided a Carbon Monoxide Alarm for our home free of charge

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  1. We had a kitchen fire in 1984. We had just moved in to a brand new house, and only lived in it for less than a month when my now ex-husband left a pan of grease on the stovetop while he went to watch tv in another room. I was only gone long enough to go to the store down the street to buy a gallon of milk, When I came home, my son, who was 11, came out the door and said, THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! I blew it off because he was always trying to trick me and saying things like that. But when I opened the front door, thick black smoke poured out!

    When I called the insurance company to file a claim, the agent asked me what happened, AS soon as I said, “MY husband was in the kitchen” he said, “that’s all you need to say. We hear that all the time”

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