One of the first lines of defense when it comes to protecting your home and family from a fire is making sure you have smoke detectors.
According to the American Red Cross, there should be at least one smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
You must also make sure each smoke alarms is work properly. Pennsylvania State fire commissioner, Bruce Trego, says you should be testing each device every month. "What we need to recognize is smoke alarms need to be taken care of by those who are in the residence. You wanna make sure, monthly, you check that smoke alarm" Trego says. If the test fails, try changing the battery before replacing the unit.
It is also important that you talk to your family about a fire escape plan, and practice the plan twice a year to make sure they are prepared.
And, perhaps most importantly, if a fire does break out in your home - or wherever you are - the American Red Cross reminds you to get out, stay out and call for help immediately.
Another helpful tip: when in doubt, just get a new smoke detector. Some fire departments can help. The Columbia Borough Fire Department, for example, offers them. The Wrightsville Fire Department in York County will also supply and install smoke detectors in your home for free. To make an appointment with the Wrightsville Fire Department, you can call 717-252-4770.