Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services urges all Sidney/Shelby County residents to have and practice a fire escape plan for your home.
Fire is fast! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. Smoke and toxic gases from a home fire kill more people than flames. Every home needs fire protection and a plan for escape. Three topics for consideration when drafting your plan:
Working smoke alarms give you early warning if there is a fire. Make sure your home is protected. Do this today.
You may have less than three minutes to escape a home fire. Every second counts. Make a plan. Talk with your family about what to do if there is a fire. Practice your escape plan.
Children under the age of four are at a higher risk of home fire injury and death than older children. Plan for this.
Please make and practice a fire escape plan. At a minimum, discuss your plan on an age appropriate level and walk through the discussion. As part of Fire Prevention Month activities, SFD teaches fire escape planning to all third graders and practices an escape plan with all fourth graders at all schools in our response district.
The following list is key components of a plan:
• Draw a map of your home by using grid paper 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.
• Always sleep with your bedroom door closed
• Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
The Department of Fire & Emergency Services has a supply of free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that were donated for low and moderate income households. Simply stop by Fire Station 1 at 222 W. Poplar St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to pick up your free detector.
For more information on fire escape plans and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts … Know 2 Ways Out,” visit http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week.
The writer is the Deputy Fire Chief of the Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services.