And then go check your smoke detectors.
Every parent wants to keep their family safe from dangerous situations, including fire, but unfortunately, the latest stats from the U.S. Fire Administration note more than 379,600 residential building fires happened in 2018.
Mom of 4 Nicole Salgado wants people to understand the danger of residential fires and is calling her neighbor a hero after the woman saved Salgado, her kids and husband.
On New Year's Day Salgado and her family were roused by the persistent knocking of a neighbor, who was captured on video by a doorbell camera as she frantically tried to get the family's attention. At one point in the now-viral footage, flaming ash can be seen falling onto the family's porch.
The kind neighbour, nurse Carolyn Palisch, tells CBS 5, "All I could think of was the kids."
"We were all asleep," Salgado told local reporters. "She made sure we got out of that house... The firefighters told us that if it would have been five minutes later then that roof would have came down on us."
The family lost everything in the fire and is now raising funds via GoFundMe to replace their possessions but they are so thankful to have their lives.
House fires are a reality we have to prepare for.
According to the Red Cross, you may only have as little as two minutes to escape your home if a fire starts. That's why you should always hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
If you're not sure what to do in case of a home fire, here are eight precautions and safety rules to follow.
1. Install smoke alarms on every floor, and test them regularly.
According to the Red Cross, an estimated 890 lives could be save each year if each home have properly installed, working smoke detectors. The Red Cross recommends installing smoke alarms on every floor of your home, inside and outside of your bedrooms. You should also regularly test your smokes alarms every month, and replace the batteries each year to make sure they stay in working order.
2. Create and practice a family fire safety plan.
Family fire safety plans are crucial to surviving a home fire. Your plan should include two ways to escape every room in your home, what to do when waking up to a smoke alarm, how to low crawl, where to meet up outside, which family member will be responsible for which task (think calling 9-1-1 or alerting everyone in the house). You should practice your fire safety plan at least twice a year at different times of the day to make sure everyone remembers what to do.
3. Keep dangerous items out of your child's reach.
About 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed each year because of children playing with fire, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. To prevent your kid from accidentally starting a fire, make sure to keep matches, lighters, and other flammable items in a secured location and out of their reach. Use child-resistant lighters and keep knob covers on your stove at all times.
4. Follow candle fire safety guidelines.
According to the National Candle Association, 85% of candle fires could have been prevented if people followed three basic rules: 1.Never leave a burning candle unattended, 2. Never burn a candle near or on anything flammable, and 3. Keep candles out of reach of kids and pets. You should also consider buying flameless candles instead of traditional wax ones.
5. Inspect your home for potential dangers.
You may not know it, but your home could have potential problems that could start a fire. To remove unexpected dangers, you should: Make sure your appliances and cords are in good, working condition; use the correct light bulb wattage in lamps and light fixtures; insert plastic safety covers in outlets that are not in use; don't run electrical wires under rugs; limit electric blanket use; and keep fabrics away from lamps, night-lights and other similar sources.You should also have your fireplace inspected annually if you plan to use it.
6. In case of fire, close the door behind you.
Research shows that closed doors help contain flames and slow down spreading. They also help keep smoke and heat out of other rooms that haven't caught on fire. It's important to remember this one rule, even in times of panic.
7. Get out, stay out.
You should never run back into a burning building. If you notice someone missing after you've gathered at your emergency meeting place, you should tell the firefighters so they can search the home. Firefighters have the gear and the equipment to withstand the flames and rescue you people safely.
8. Remember your emergency numbers.
Keep a list of emergency numbers on your fridge, in your office or any place accessible to every family member. Your list should include 9-1-1, as well as the number to your local fire department. It's also good to have contacts for friends and family members you trust to help in a dangerous or emergency situation. Also, make sure to teach your kids how to dial 9-1-1.
[A version of this post was originally published on December 30, 2017. It has been updated.]