If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of American households estimate they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
The goal of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, is to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
Here are some tips for planning your family’s escape:
- Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
- Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
- Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
- Sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and the “Have Two Ways Out!” campaign, visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.