As I mentioned last month, October is Fire Prevention Month and I want to spend some time making sure this year's theme, "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out" really hits home. Many people underestimate the speed and power of fire. Seconds can mean the difference between escaping safely from fire and tragedy. You may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Plan two ways out of every room. This can give you the time you need to get outside.
Make a home escape plan. Practice your home fire escape drill with everyone in the household, especially all of your children. Firefighters and fire-safety educators agree that when members of a household create a home escape plan and practice what they need to do and where to go when the smoke alarm sounds, the likelihood of a safe escape increases significantly.
Making a home escape plan that involves drawing a map of your home showing all doors and windows and an outside meeting place in front of your home is a key component of escape planning. To take this even further, sit down with ALL members of your family especially the children. Take the time to go over what they need to do, for example, make sure they can open windows by themselves or be very clear on where every door or potential escape route may be. Be very clear, instruct the children to exit and go to the safe meeting place and STAY THERE, even if Mom or Dad are not out yet.
Becoming separated and not knowing were everyone is can be a nightmare! That is why the Safe Meeting Place becomes so critical. Be sure everyone is accounted for and immediately alert the fire personnel when someone is missing. It may be a good idea to practice being caught on the second floor or knowing little tips like Don't Hide, yelling out so you can be found.
Most people will at some time during their lives have a disability, either temporary or permanent, that limits their ability to move in and around the home. Disabilities can present many types of challenges in evacuating your home in the event of a fire or other emergency. Since most of us spend much of our time in our home, it's vitally important to consider how someone in your home with a disability would escape a fire. Developing and practicing a home fire escape plan is the best way to be as prepared as possible.
When having friends or relatives come stay with you overnight or for an extended visit, you'll want to make sure their time in your home is not only enjoyable, but safe. Practice your home fire escape drill with them. I suggest when you are showing them around your home you can say, and this is a route we would take in case you hear the smoke alarm, and we exit here, and we would meet at the curb over there, and this is the address in case you need to call 9-1-1.
For more suggestions,visit www.sparkyschoolhouse.org. Of course I have lots of pamphlets which can help you make your plan, just stop by the firehouse.
Dayton Community News