Consider this scenario: It’s 2 a.m. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a fire escape plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety or even prove deadly.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out,” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Tri-County Health Care encourages all families to develop a plan together and practice it.
- MAKE a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the 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 (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
- PRACTICE your home fire drill at night and during the day 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 Alarm Sounds
- 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 to your way out.
- CALL the fire department from outside your home.
Halloween Fire Safety Tips
Halloween is a fun and spooky time of year for kids, and it’s just around the corner. Make trick-or-treating safe for your little monsters with a few easy safety tips.
- When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
- Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o’-lanterns. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o’-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o’-lanterns with candles in them. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
Reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA