LARA suggests fire safety precautions

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Lansing, MI (WILX) -- LARA and the State Fire Marshal want to remind people to take extra precautions when it comes to the safety of their families.

According to the State Fire Marshal, a total of 86 people across the state have died in house fires this year. In the month of October, fatal home fires claimed the lives of 17 people; seven children and ten adults statewide.

State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer is urging people to spend time developing and practicing a fire escape plan with their families.

On average a family has less than three minutes to escape a home fire due to toxic gases, smoke, and lack of oxygen.

"It is so important to teach kids what to do if a fire occurs," Sehlmeyer said. "The last thing we want is for children to hide, thinking that will keep them safe. It is vitally important that we teach our families what to do if the smoke alarms go off and practice how to escape if there is a fire in your home. A family fire escape plan is essential."

Sehlmeyer said to have a smoke alarm in every room if possible, or at least every level of the house including the basement.

He suggests families do monthly tests and change batteries regularly. Newer smoke alarms have lithium batteries that can last up to ten years.

People are also urged to have carbon monoxide detectors since the gas is both invisible and has no detectable smell. The poisonous gas can kill quickly.

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