Firefighters help homeowners prepare for fire emergencies

Installing smoke alarms can help save lives

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Although we do not know the circumstances in the Washington house fire in Oildale, officials say it’s always good to prepare your home in case of an emergency.

Placing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors inside specific spots in your home is crucial when it comes to house fire safety.

Bakersfield firefighter Anthony Galagaza is inspecting this northeast side home helping owners prepare to deal with the worst.

“It's always best to have a working smoke detector outside every sleeping area and inside every single bedroom in the house," he said.

Galagaza says at least one smoke alarm should be installed on every level of the home.  Owners should also consider placing carbon monoxide detectors in the structure.

"It's a tasteless, odorless gas and it’s important they have that with the structure because throughout the years, we have had many things where carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a major issue," he said.

Having at least one alarm and detector inside the home is better than having none, and making sure its batteries are replaced regularly. 

"Since heat rises, smoke will rise with it. It's important to have it above the doorway on top of the ceiling so its senses before anybody is to be overcome with smoke or carbon monoxide and is able to detect early,” said Galagaza.

Another critical element to have is a way out.

“It's important that they have escape routes out through the window, through their door depending what it is, never go outside a hot door, that's so important," he said.

Having two alternative routes is key and families should spend time going over each of them at least twice a year.

"A lot of times we have them meet out front because it's so important to escape out the front.  Get out because to the front because it's a more open area,” he said.

Fire officials also encourage people to clean out all drier vents in their laundry rooms about once every year.

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