The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 2012 Fire Prevention Week, held Oct. 7-13 this year, features the theme “Have 2 Ways Out” to promote the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
“The reality is that when fire strikes, your home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes,” NFPA stated on its Fire Prevention Week Web site. “It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That's why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan.”
According to NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires in 2010. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
Fire Prevention Tips
In honor of Fire Protection Week, J. “Sonny” Bass, the technical director of emergency services at Paul Davis Restoration Inc., offers the following fire prevention tips for homeowners and families:
- Install smoke alarms in your home and test them monthly. Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
- Don't leave cooking items or clothing irons unattended.
- Don't let children play with fire.
- Handle gasoline or propane-powered equipment cautiously.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors.
- Have a family plan in place and conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year.
- Keep a portable ladder in each second floor room.
- Check fire extinguishers for expiration and replace as needed.
- Maintain an updated, emergency first aid kit.
And remember: Always have two ways out.