The National Fire Protection Association is placing a special emphasis on practicing escape plans during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13.
In 2006, 80 percent of all fire deaths were caused by home fires. Last year, about 2,600 people were killed by home fires and 12,500 were injured, according to NFPA reports.
“It is not enough just to have a home fire escape plan in place; it is vital that everyone living in the home practice the plan,” said Judy Comoletti of the NFPA. “You can have as little as two minutes to get out when fire strikes.”
Sparky the Fire Dog, NFPA’s official mascot, is asking the public to practice their escape plan by participating in the Great American Fire Drill. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org to learn more.
NFPA offers the following tips for home fire escape planning:
Install and maintain working smoke alarms on every level; inside each bedroom and outside of each sleeping area. Develop a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of each room and a family meeting place outside. Make sure your plan allows for any specific needs in your household. If everyone knows what to do, everyone can get out quickly. Practice your plan at least twice a year. Some studies have shown that some children and adults may not awaken to the sound of a smoke alarm; they may need help waking up. If the smoke alarm sounds: Go to your closest exit, and if there is smoke on your way out, turn and use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Don’t take time to pick up belongings; just get out and help others get out. Move fast but stay calm.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building and life safety to the public since 1896.
For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.