LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. From October 8 – 14, fire departments across the State of Michigan and throughout the United States will reinforces why everyone needs to have and practice a home fire escape plan.
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 fire escape plan is like building muscle memory,” according to Firefighter Michael McLeieer, President of the non-profit fire safety organization E.S.C.A.P.E. “According to our survey, 85% of homes don’t have or practice a home fire escape plan. Pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
• 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 the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
• Maintain smoke alarms throughout your home. Replace alarms over 10 years old.
• 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.
Create your own home escape plan with this form: EscapePlan-WLNS