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If your home catches fire, from the time the smoke alarm sounds, you may have to move very quickly to get out safely. Every family should have a home escape plan.  It could be the difference between life and death. The goal is to make sure everyone in your home knows what they will need to do, and possibly, in a very short period of time.

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Smoke alarms give you an early warning, so you can get out quickly.

Having great homeowners insurance in Charleston, or wherever you live, is important.  Having a home fire escape plan - that could save a family member's life - is critical.


  • Make sure you have smoke alarms in every bedroom, and on every level of your home. Large homes may need some extra smoke alarms.
  • It is critical to test your smoke alarms at least once a month. It is as easy as pressing the test button to check the alarm.
  • Smoke alarms should be on the ceiling or at the top of a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms, and keep them at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • For people with hearing issues, there are special alarms. They can have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • All smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old.


  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Never go back inside.
  • If you have to escape through smoke, you need to be below the smoke as you are finding your way out. Stay low!
  • Wait to call the fire department until you are safely outside.


  • Have a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Everyone in your home should be familiar with the plan.
  • Identify at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and check now to make sure all doors and windows will open easily.
  • VERY IMPORTANT- Have an outside meeting place (like a tree or your mailbox) that is a safe distance from the house.  Everyone should know to meet there.
  • It is smart to practice a fire drill, particularly at night, with everyone in your home, twice a year.
  • Practice using different doors and windows to get out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own, in case you are incapacitated.
  • When you leave the house, close the doors behind you.

Fire departments in the US respond to fire alarms in a home about every 90 seconds.  There are over 1,000 fires a day in the US, and unfortunately over 2,650 deaths annually from fires.

You can call us here at Harrell Insurance Agency (843-766-5533) to make sure you have the best coverage for your home and for the best possible price.  Having the right insurance is important, but saving a family member’s life by having a home escape plan is critical.  Please call us anytime with questions you may have about home safety.  We are here to help.

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Harrell Insurance Agency
2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd Suite 124 Charleston, SC 29407
Ph: (843) 766-5533
Fax: 843.769.5980
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