Fire Prevention Week: Every Second Counts — Plan 2 Ways Out!
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” emphasizes the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. 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 short amount of time wisely.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Chuck Bogle, Fire Chief of the Melbourne Fire Department. “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.”
A home escape plan includes:
- Working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas; and
- 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.
NFPA and the Melbourne Fire Department offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure your house number is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find. Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
For more information:
Reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA