Harrisburg, PA – Acting State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego wants Pennsylvanians to “Look, Listen, and Learn.” This is not just the new theme of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7 – 13, it could save the lives of those reacting to a fire in their homes.
Trego said today’s homes are filled with synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster than ever. In a typical fire, you may have as little as two minutes to safely exit the structure from the time you first hear a smoke alarm. Knowing how to use that time wisely is critical, and it takes both planning and practice.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” seeks to educate the public about three basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
· Look for places fire could start.
· Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
· Learn two ways out of every room.
“How an individual reacts to a possible fire in the first few minutes is critically important,” Trego said. “All too often, these decisions result in a loss of life. We need to do a better job of teaching people about escape planning and encourage them to practice their plans with their families.
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 that’s a safe distance from the home.
Some 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 adults are not able to help them.
- Make sure your house number 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.
- Never go back inside a burning building. Once outside, stay outside.
For additional information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org