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Pella Corporation issues Fire Safety Challenge to homeowners

Published on 7 October 2010
Fire alarms the best way to keep your house safe
Fire safety is one of Pella Corporation's
key public safety efforts

As per U.S. Fire Administration, living in a home with an operational smoke alarm increases the chance of survival by 50 percent.

For the price of a nine-volt battery you can significantly improve your odds of surviving a home fire.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, living in a home with an operational smoke alarm increases the chance of survival by 50 percent.

Through its Close the door on fire® campaign, Pella Corporation is encouraging team members and the public to help prevent and potentially survive a home fire by:

  • Replacing batteries in your smoke alarms and/or installing new smoke alarms where needed.
  • Creating a home fire escape plan. Download a free planning grid from Pella Corporation at Review your plan with everyone in your household.
  • Removing matches and lighters from the reach of children and talk to them about the importance of fire safety.
  • Scheduling a fire drill involving everyone in your household to practice escaping from your home in the event of a fire.

"As a window and door industry leader, Pella Corporation is committed to helping save lives by educating our team members and others about the importance of home fire safety," said Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella fire safety educator.

Fire safety is one of Pella Corporation's key public safety efforts. In the U.S., a home fire is reported every 83 seconds, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). More than 3,500 Americans die each year in fires, USFA reports, and about 20,000 are injured. Because most fire fatalities occur in homes, and often at night as occupants sleep, Pella's focus is on prevention, Krafka Harkema said.

"Despite the best intentions to change the batteries in our smoke alarms, often it's overlooked," Krafka Harkema said. "Now's the time to replace your smoke alarm batteries and install new smoke alarms in your home if needed."

Simple actions can increase your chances of surviving a home fire

According to the USFA, smoke alarms should be replaced every 8 – 10 years if they are not directly wired into your home's wiring. They should be installed on every level inside your home, including the basement. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas. Finally, don't forget to test smoke alarms to ensure they are properly working.

Pella offers these fire safety tips to help protect your loved ones:

Identify! Prepare! Practice!

  • Evaluate fire safety risks inside your home and immediate surroundings. Equip your garage with smoke detectors since garage fires can start easily and spread quickly. Also, properly extinguish fire in indoor fireplaces or outdoor fire settings to prevent the risk of fire spreading around your home or to others in the neighborhood.
  • Identify two exits – Designate two exits from every room in your home — a door and a window. Make sure doors and windows open quickly and easily to help ensure a quick exit; if not, consider replacing them for safety's sake.
  • Have a plan – Download a fire escape grid from Pella ( and draw a floor plan of each level of your home. Before an emergency strikes, establish and communicate a meeting place a safe distance outside your home for everyone to gather in the event of a fire.
  • Check the alarms – Install working smoke alarms in or near every sleeping area and on every level inside your home. Test alarms monthly, change batteries regularly, and replace alarms not permanently wired into your home's electrical system every 10 years.
  • Make smart purchases – Consider keeping items like fire extinguishers and fire escape ladders in your home. Mark their location on your home fire plan and share this information with those in your home.
  • Test the alarm Sound smoke alarms when household members are awake so everyone knows what they sound like, and test your family's ability to awaken to fire alarms during sleeping hours. If they don't awaken easily, assign someone to awaken sound sleepers in the event of an emergency.
  • Practice makes perfect – Practice your home fire escape plan with everyone in your home at least twice a year.

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