Fire Prevention Week 2017 focuses on planning

Oct. 8 – 14 awareness campaign emphasizes teaching every member of the family two escape routes from each room of house and participating in home fire drill twice a year 

JEFFERSON CITY – In advance of Fire Prevention Week 2017, State Fire Marshal Tim Bean is urging Missouri families to plan two escape routes from each room in their home, to teach children how to escape and to conduct family fire drills twice year.

“In a fire, a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death,” Fire Marshal Bean said. “Planning paths out in advance, discussing them with children and practicing on a regular basis will make this become second nature, so everyone will know what to do if a smoke alarm sounds in the middle of the night.”

Fire Prevention Week runs from Oct. 8 to 14 with the theme “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out.”

Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates are emphasizing are:

·         Draw a map of your home by 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 parents cannot help them.

·         Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

·         Close doors behind you as you leave – this can slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.

·         Once you get outside, go to the family meeting place at a safe distance in front of the home. Never go back inside a burning building.

·         All windows and doors should open easily so they can be used to get outside.

·         Make sure your home has smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and regularly test them to make sure they are working. Working smoke alarms should be on every level of the home, in all bedrooms and near all sleeping areas.

The end of Daylight Saving Time, 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, when clocks are adjusted to “fall back” an hour, can serve as an easy reminder to change smoke and CO alarm batteries once a year.

Fire Prevention Week is recognized annually by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and fire departments and safety agencies across the country. In 2015, there were more than 365,000 home structure fires resulting in more than 2,600 civilian deaths and 11,000 injuries across the nation, according to NFPA.

For more than 90 years, fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record. For more information on “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

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