4 ways to protect your home from threats of fire and carbon monoxide

These items can make huge difference in your family's safety

HOUSTON – October is National Fire Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about overall home safety and help ensure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency.

Kathryn Emery, home improvement and lifestyle expert with Be the Best Home, stopped by the Houston Life studio with must-have safety products for your home, including alarms, fire extinguishers, fire ladders and fireproof safes.

Fire is not the only cause of concern. It is also important to protect your home from carbon monoxide, known as "the silent killer."

"Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless and deadly gas. It is the No. 1  cause of accidental deaths in the USA, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association," said Emery.

Install combination of smoke alarms/ carbon monoxide alarms for the highest level of safety.

The average-sized home in America – a two-story, three-bedroom house — needs a minimum of five smoke alarms and four carbon monoxide alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

"They have the combo alarms, so you can get two in one. They even have ones with voice location, fire in the kitchen, carbon monoxide in the garage, so they take the guessing out of it," said Emery, who also suggested you update to  alarms with a 10-year sealed battery, so you no longer need to remember to replace batteries for the life of the alarms.

"Alarms only last 10 years, so the battery lasts the lifetime of the alarm which is amazing. Remember 'Change your battery, change your clock'? Well, no more," she said.

Get a multirated fire extinguisher to handle most types of household fires.

If a fire does break out, use a fire extinguisher correctly by remembering the acronym PASS.
Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep side to side.

"If you don't have a multirated fire extinguisher, you should get one. What that means is that it can put any kind of fire out. Grease fire in your stove, electrical fire, combust, whatever," said Emery.

Have an escape plan that includes a fire ladder.

For loved ones not on the first floor, have an escape ladder to ensure your family is prepared.

"You want to have an escape plan with your family, where to meet if there's a fire, and then you want to have your house prepared, as well ,with an escape ladder. You hook it onto the side of the building, and you throw it out. It's all preassembled for you, and it opens for you," said Emery.

Keep important belongings in a fireproof safe.

You need this type of safe to protect items you would not want to lose because when a fire starts at home, you must immediately evacuate.

"For the things you really worry about, heirlooms, photos, anything you don't want to lose. Just a peace of mind, so you are not running back to the house to protect stuff," said Emery.

To see Emery's complete interview, watch the video above.