Home Safety Efforts Heat Up This Summer

First Alert Encourages Continued Emergency Preparedness
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AURORA, Ill., August 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As many American homes have transformed into makeshift offices, gyms and classrooms, and health concerns are top-of-mind, fire safety has also become a priority. According to a recent study, 91% of consumers considered home fires a top concern during the initial months of the pandemic.*

Along with adopting new routines, many Americans tackled a variety of home improvement and home safety projects. More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans reported taking additional home safety measures this year, including testing smoke alarms or buying home monitoring devices.

"When people start painting projects, lighting installation and other types of home improvements, it's an ideal time to check or update smoke and carbon monoxide alarms," said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, the most trusted name in fire safety.** "It is important to test alarms regularly, but people sometimes forget how old their alarms are and that they do not last forever. Alarms must be replaced at least every 10 years."

With more regular activity in and around the home this summer, the risk of hazardous home incidents, such as home fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, may also increase. In the past several months, people report using their kitchens in greater numbers, with 47% of consumers reporting cooking from home every day, compared with 23% prior to the pandemic.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires in the United States, accounting for 62% of residential fire incidents each year.*** And, CO poisoning remains the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fortunately, research shows that while Americans focused on keeping their families safe and healthy, they also became more actively engaged in fire and CO safety readiness.

"Staying home and cooking more have greatly contributed to consumers' attention to fire and carbon monoxide safety this year," said Wey. "We have been extremely encouraged by the number of people taking additional safety measures at home and putting products and practices in place to help protect themselves and their families."

With proper planning and ongoing, regular maintenance of smoke and CO alarms, people can increase their level of home safety. Alongside fire safety experts, First Alert recommends these easy steps to be ready if a fire or CO incident occurs in your home:

  • Install alarms throughout the home. According to NFPA guidelines, smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the home, including the basement, and in every bedroom, and CO alarms should be on every level of the home and near each sleeping area.
  • Check the manufacture date on your alarms. Alarms do not last forever and must be replaced at least every 10 years, regardless of their manufacturer. If alarms are due for replacement, consider upgrading your level of protection to premium 10-year sealed battery alarms. Ten-year alarms eliminate low-battery chirps and the need for battery replacements for a decade. For ultimate home safety, select combination smoke and CO models for complete protection from the threats of smoke, fire and CO. A variety of smoke and CO alarms, including hardwired, combination, dual sensor and 10-year battery-powered models, are available to meet specific needs and local requirements.
  • Test alarms regularly. Regardless of the type of alarms you have installed, all smoke and CO alarms should be regularly tested. First Alert alarms are equipped with a test button to make this easy. Never test alarms with an open flame or by simulating a fire or CO emergency.
  • Develop - and frequently practice - an escape plan with your family. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors, and make sure everyone in the home understands the plan. In the event of an emergency, it is important to exit the home, stay outside and wait at the predesignated meeting place away from the home. Call 911 and wait until officials clear your home to re-enter it safely.
  • Equip second floor sleeping areas with escape ladders. Also, equip every floor with a fire extinguisher, and discuss how to use them. Fire extinguishers should be kept where they are easily reachable and in key rooms where there is a higher risk for fires, such as the kitchen and garage.

"Working smoke and CO alarms are the first line of defense in our collective efforts to protect what matters most this summer and all year round," said Wey.

For more information and to access your own readiness resources, visit www.firstalert.com/beready.

*First Alert COVID-19 Consumer Insights, April 2020 - Results are based on the responses of 1,000 adults, ages 25 and older, living in the United States who completed an online survey. Results are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire adult population in the United States within those statistical parameters.

**First Alert Brand Trust Survey, February 2020 - Results are based on the responses of 1,000 adults, ages 25 and older, living in the United States who completed an online survey. Results are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire adult population in the United States within those statistical parameters. For more information or a copy of the complete survey results, contact Tim Young at LCWA: 312/565-4628 or tyoung@lcwa.com .

***National Fire Protection Association; https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Top-fire-causes

About BRK Brands, Inc. BRK Brands, Inc. ( Aurora, IL), is a fully owned subsidiary of Newell Brands. For more than 60 years, BRK Brands, Inc. has been the manufacturer of First Alert ®-branded home-safety products, the most trusted and recognized safety brand in America. BRK ® Brands designs and develops innovative safety solutions including a comprehensive line of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders to protect what matters most.  Such products are also marketed under the BRK Electronics ® brand, The Professional Standard for the builder and contractor audiences.  BRK Brands, Inc. products are found in more than 30 countries worldwide.  For more information, visit http://www.firstalert.comhttp://www.brkelectronics.com  or http://www.newellbrands.com .

About Newell Brands Newell Brands (NWL) - Get Report is a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Dymo®, EXPO®, Parker®, Elmer's®, Coleman®, Marmot®, Oster®, Sunbeam®, FoodSaver®, Mr. Coffee®, Rubbermaid Commercial Products®, Graco®, Baby Jogger®, NUK®, Calphalon®, Rubbermaid®, Contigo®, First Alert®, Mapa®, Spontex® and Yankee Candle®.  For hundreds of millions of consumers, Newell Brands makes life better every day, where they live, learn, work and play.

Additional information about Newell Brands is available on the company's website, www.newellbrands.com .  

©2020 BRK Brands, Inc., Aurora, IL 60504. All rights reserved.BRK Electronics ® is a registered trademark of BRK Brands, Inc., Aurora, IL 60504.Nasdaq ® is a registered trademark of The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.

Contacts: Sara Tatay or Claire VartabedianL.C. Williams & AssociatesP: 312-565-3900 or 800-837-7123 statay@lcwa.com or cvartabedian@lcwa.com 

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SOURCE First Alert