Every second counts
Fire chief encourages home escape plans
From the moment a smoke alarm wakes a family, they may have less than two minutes to escape from a burning house.
That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation, according to Waupaca Fire Chief Jerry Deuman.
A plan ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” Deuman said. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” works to educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it.
The Waupaca Area Fire District is working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages.
Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8-14.
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Deuman encourages all households to develop a plan together and practice it.
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas.
It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place – such as a tree, light pole or mailbox – that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA and the Waupaca Area Fire District offer these additional tips for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
• Draw a map of your home 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 you can’t 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 may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
• Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.#