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Fire Coordinator Glenn Bristol and the whole team at the Department of Public Safety are reminding you that October 8 - 14, 2017 is Fire Prevention Week!
You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds: Do you know what to do?
Consider this scenario: It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. 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 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. “Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Washington County Fire Coordinator, Glenn Bristol. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
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. The Fire Coordinator’s Office and Fire Departments throughout the county are working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages.
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, we encourage all of our residents to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
The NFPA and the entire Fire community offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
We are extremely fortunate in Washington County to have a great group of volunteers in the fire service, dedicated to supporting and serving our communities! Many of our local Fire Departments have excellent fire prevention programs educating the youths and families - check in with your local fire department for more information!
To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.