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Home Sense

Fire Prevention Week: It’s All about a Plan

Fire Prevention Week serves as a reminder to have an escape plan, practice fire drills and make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. If a fire breaks out in your home, you may only have a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. We’ve compiled some tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) about planning your family’s escape route and practicing fire drills at home:

  • Make an Escape Plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows.
  • Discuss the escape plan with everyone in your home. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible.
  • Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily. Have an outside meeting place (this could be a tree, light pole or mailbox). Just make sure it’s a safe distance from your home.
  • Practice your home fire drill. Make sure you practice with your family during the day and at night, with everyone in your home, twice a year.
  • Practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave.

If the smoke alarm sounds

  • Get out and stay out. Never go back inside for people or pets.
  • If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke on your way out.
  • Call the fire department from outside of your home.

Facts about House Fires

A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms inside every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected – when one smoke alarm sounds, they all should sound.

According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

While 71 percent of Americans have a family escape plan, only 47 percent of those have actually practiced it.

One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a house fire would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8 percent said their first reaction of on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

It’s important to create family escape plans, review and practice the plans at least twice a year. Preparation and proper alarms could be the key to saving you and your family’s lives.

Additional information can be found on the National Fire Protection Association’s website. This information was reproduced from NFPA’s fire Prevention Week website © NFPA 2017. 

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