MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwired - Oct 6, 2016) - In 2015, 1.4 million fires were reported in the United States, resulting in fire departments responding to a fire emergency every 23 seconds and $14.3 billion in property damage*. With October kicking off National Fire Prevention Month, The Master Lock Company is providing safety and security tips to help North Americans prepare and protect their homes and families.
"This time of year is a good reminder to revisit your family's safety plan," said Rebecca Smith, vice president, marketing for The Master Lock Company. "It's imperative to prepare for worse case scenarios, by prepping your home, belongings and loved ones in case disaster strikes."
With that in mind, The Master Lock Company offers four tips surrounding fire prevention:
- Take Inventory of Your Home: Evaluate your home to ensure you remove potential fire hazards -- such as turning off portable heaters when you leave the room and keeping items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. Ensure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fully charged and checked monthly and verify your fire extinguisher has not expired. Also, educate younger members in the household on fire safety and review the sound of smoke alarms, so they recognize one if it goes off.
- Create and Practice a Fire Safety Plan: Make an evacuation plan by visiting each room in your home, and determine two ways out -- checking that all windows and doors open easily. Lastly, designate a safe meeting place outside the home where your family can gather after exiting. This meeting place should be close to the home, but not too close to be in danger from the fire, and in front of the house so that fire safety personnel can easily see you as they arrive. It should also be somewhere easy to find in day or night, such as near a telephone pole, tree or mailbox. Most importantly, practice the escape plan.
- Add Exterior Safety Measures: Regularly prune landscaping around your doors, windows and entryway, and consider installing lights above doors and near your garage or carport to help family members execute the family evacuation plan calmly and safely. This also allows for emergency responders to easily see your home and identify your house number from the street. Additionally, stay up-to-date on local emergency best practices. Many local fire departments require key safes on multi-unit properties to allow for immediate access for life-saving activities. Utilize an easy-to-use lock box like the Master Lock 5422D (portable) or the Master Lock 5423D (wall mount), which enable users to set their own combination and allow home access to others if needed. These lock boxes hold multiple keys and can be easily affixed to a doorknob or installed, ensuring keys are always readily available.
- Protect Your Belongings: Store important or irreplaceable documents, such as birth certificates, passports, social security cards, CDs, digital files, photos, and other valuables in a fire-resistant safe**, such as the SentrySafe Fire Safe with Alarm (SFW123TSC). Available at Lowe's and other retailers, the safe is equipped with a digital, touch-access keypad and a loud audible alarm. As an extra safety precaution, back up critical documents electronically, such as identification cards, passports, and insurance policies by storing digital copies in the Master Lock Vault. By uploading documents into this free, secure digital safe deposit box, all items are protected from fire, flood and theft, and can be accessed from any internet connection or mobile device when they are needed most.
For more tips on fire prevention and other safety resources including where to find these products, visit or connect with Master Lock and SentrySafe online:
About The Master Lock Company
The Master Lock Company is recognized around the world as the authentic, enduring name in padlocks and security products. The Master Lock Company offers a broad range of innovative security and safety solutions for consumer, commercial, and industrial end-users. The Master Lock Company LLC is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), is included in the S&P 500 Index. For more information about The Master Lock Company visit www.masterlock.com.
*National Fire Prevention Association
**ETL verified for 1-hour fire protection of digital media and 24-hours of water protection in up to 5-in of water