In collaboration with fire agencies and safety advocates nationwide, the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2018, to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
The number of fires in homes has steadily declined over the last few decades. While we have made great progress in learning how to prevent fires, statistics show a significant increase in injuries and loss of life over the same time period. Today’s homes and buildings can burn faster than ever. Families can have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time a smoke alarm sounds. Planning what your family should do in the event of a fire is critical. Since fires do not just start at home this information can help you anywhere. Three simple statements lay the groundwork for preparation and action in the event of a home or other fire:
- Look for places fire can start
Identify electrical and fire hazards in your home. Make sure chimneys are clean and electrical cords are intact. Are your lighters and matches away from small curious hands?
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
Make sure smoke alarms are installed in all sleeping areas and on every level of a home. Close doors behind you to prevent the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
- Learn two ways out of every room
Draw a map of your home with all family members and practice your evacuation plan at least twice a year at night and during the day. Teach children how to get out on their own and make sure no one ever goes back in a burning building. Ensure your address signs are current and easily seen.
Fire can happen anywhere and with a small amount of preparation and forethought, a dangerous situation can be overcome quickly and safely.