Officials urge residents to create escape plan after increase in Michigan house fire deaths

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Officials are urging residents to be safe after an increase in Michigan fire deaths this year.

So far this year, 86 people have lost their lives in Michigan as the result of a fire in their homes, according to the Michigan State Police.

In October alone, fatal home fires claimed the lives of seven children and 10 adults.

In response to these recent fire tragedies, State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer is urging residents to develop and practice a fire escape plan.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Fire Services says residents generally have less than three minutes to escape a home fire due to the toxic gasses, smoke, and lack of oxygen.

Change smoke alarm batteries every year because they provide an early warning of a fire. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of every home, including the basement as well as in every bedroom or sleeping area. Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Dead batteries caused 25% of the smoke alarm failures.

Carbon monoxide detectors are important safety equipment for homes and should be installed and checked the same as smoke detectors. The difference is some carbon monoxide are powered by sealed ten-year batteries that should be tested once a month to make sure they are working properly.

For more fire safety information and safety tips, visit the MI Prevention website or the NFPA website.

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