Do you know what to do?
October 5, 2017 -- 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. Home escape planning is critical to ensure everyone in the household knows how to use that time wisely.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Fire Prevention Officer Grayson Smith. “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.”
Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017 and the theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” The focus is to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. Medicine Hat Fire Services is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to reinforce 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, the City of Medicine Hat encourages all households to develop a plan together and practice it. This 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, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA and Medicine Hat Fire Services offer these additional tips and recommendations:
• Draw a map of your home marking two exits from each room and a path to outside.
• Practice your home fire drill twice a year at night and during the day.
• Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
• Make sure the house number is clearly marked and easy 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.
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.
For further information, please contact:
Fire Prevention Officer Grayson Smith