If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to a safe place? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of American households thought they would have 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
That’s why Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 – 13, and throughout the month of October to urge residents to Have Two Ways Out! and plan and practice a home fire escape plan.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires, causing 13,350 injuries, 2,640 deaths, and $6.9 billion in damage. In 2011, Fire and Emergency Services responded to almost 1,700 structure fires, causing seven civilian deaths.
Making a home fire escape plan
Use 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: This place should be outside in front of your home and be a place where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
- Practice your plan: Have a grownup sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan fresh in your mind: Post your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind your family to practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
Information provided by Gwinnett County.