Firefighters Urge Residents To Develop An Escape Plan



The Payson Fire Department Reminds Rim Country Residents to "Practice Your Escape Plan."

It's time for Fire Prevention Week, and from Oct. 7-13, the Payson Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind local residents to ‘Practice Your Escape Plan.'

During this year's fire safety campaign, fire departments, firefighters and safety advocates will be spreading the word about the dangers of home fires and teaching local residents how to plan and practice escape from a home, in case a fire occurs.

According to the latest NFPA research, 3,030 people died in 2005 in home fires -- that's roughly eight people every day. Being alerted to a fire and knowing what to do to escape from one are extremely important, yet only 23 percent of households have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan.

Knowing what to do in the event of a fire is particularly important for older adults. At age 65, people are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires, compared to the population at large.

Fire drills are also a good opportunity to make sure that everyone is able to hear and respond to smoke alarms. Have a telephone installed or cell phone available where you sleep, in case of emergency.

Sometimes there are only seconds to escape, but there's no question that having a plan in place that has been practiced saves precious time and makes survival more likely.

We hope that Fire Prevention Week will prompt folks in our community to plan and practice their escape.

Are you prepared for a fire? Although it's difficult to prepare for the unexpected, reviewing the information below and taking action based on it to plan for a fire is strongly recommended... and don't forget to practice your escape plan during Fire Prevention Week!

Install working smoke alarms on every level, inside and outside of each sleeping area.

Test your alarms monthly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.

Develop a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of each room and a family "safe meeting place" outside. Let the younger ones try to open the windows and make escape.

Practice using the plan, at least twice a year.

Some studies have shown that some children and adults may not awaken to the sound of a smoke alarm; they may need help waking up.

Make provisions for those with disabilities. If anyone in your household is deaf or hearing diminished, consider installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing light or vibrationo alert you to a fire emergency.
If the smoke alarm sounds: Go to your closest exit, and if you run into smoke, turn and use another way out.

If you must exit through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Don't take time to pick up belongings; just get out and help others get out.Move fast but stay calm. Once outside stay outside.

Share your escape plan with extended family, baby sitters, or anyone else who might need to know what to do in the event of an emergency while at your residence.

Until next time, be "Fired Up" about fire escape plans and practice them in your home.

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