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Listen for the Chirp to Avoid Fire

National Fire Prevention Week highlights steps families can take to avoid injury and damage.

Take these steps to ensure the safety of your family:

* If you haven't already, purchase smoke alarms for your home.

* Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the house, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.

* Smoke alarms should be tested once per month by pushing the "test" button.

* If an alarm chirps, it's warning the battery is low. Replace the battery right away.

* Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.

* Develop a fire escape plan for your home that includes two ways out of every room, as well as a designated spot outside the home for a meeting place.

* Make sure windows and doorways open easily. Plan and practice a fire drill.

* Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards.

* Never leave children unattended near hot stoves or burning candles, even for a short time. Children should cook only with adult supervision.

* Stay a safe distance away from a fireplace, wood stove or other heating system. Clothes can  catch fire easily. Use fireplace screens and inspect and clean fireplaces each year.

* Turn off room heaters, lights, stereos, TVs and other electrical equipment when not in use.

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