Fire Officials Encourage Residents to Have Two Home Exit Routes
If your home were on fire, would you be able to exit quickly and safely?
Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services (GCFES) is encouraging residents to plan two routes of escape during Fire Prevention Week. The theme of this year's observance is "Have two ways out."
According to a GCFES press release, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires in 2010.
"These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage. In 2011, The Gwinnett County Fire department responded to almost 1,700 structure fires where of the 203 working incidents, there were seven civilian deaths," Lt. Colin S. Rhoden advised.
“One home structure fire was reported in the United states every 85 seconds in 2010,” Rhoden added. “Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home.”
GCFES recommends taking the following steps to ensure you and your family would safety escape a home fire:
- 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 outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
- Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
- Have an adult sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind adults to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Gwinnett County, contact the Gwinnett County Fire Department at 678.518.4850 or email the Education Section at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.