If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety?
According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
That’s why Sylvania’s fire department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13 to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
“One home structure was reported every 85 seconds in 2010,” says Deputy Chief Michael Froelich of the Sylvania Fire Department. “Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home.”
Your Sylvania Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:
- Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room
- Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
- Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
- Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
Your Sylvania Fire Department will be teaming up with local schools during Fire Prevention Week to promote “Have Two Ways Out!”
Through these educational activities students can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention.
At the end of Fire Prevention Week, we will host a Fire Safety Festival where there will be tons of activities and food for families. Come out and join your firefighters - and have fun practicing what your children have learned.
Local business sponsors have also donated bicycles and helmets to be awarded to many children for accomplishing fire safety oriented goals throughout the week. Don’t miss this amazing event that your kids will not forget.
The event will be held at Fire Station #4, 8210 Sylvania Ave., from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. There will be pizza, Moe the Fire Clown, fire safety education house, Stop-Drop & Roll stations, children can spray the fire hose, fire extinguisher demonstrations and much more.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities please contact the Sylvania Fire Department at 419-882-7676.
To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site.