‘Not every hero wears a cape, plan and practice your escape’

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12

SIDNEY — Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services reminds the public during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12, to plan and practice in case of a fire.

The National Fire Protection Association collaborates annually with local fire departments to communicate a specific fire safety message. This year’s slogan highlights the need to plan and practice. Anyone can be a fire safety hero. All it takes is to plan and practice fire safety.

Ohio State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey reported in early September that Ohio had lost 90 people in fatal fires. This increase should cause people to pause and consider their own planning and preparedness, officials said.

While smoke detectors will always be an integral part of a home safety plan, the plan must not stop there. What will we do when the smoke detector alerts us to a problem in our home? How will we respond in the middle of the night when the alarm sounds?

With planning and practice, individuals will respond instantly, in an appropriate manner. Emergency situations are chaotic, confusing and scary. The way to overcome these obstacles is to plan and practice. At a minimum the plan should have two key components:

1. Know at least two ways out of every room. Doors are obvious first choices but may be the only protection an occupant has from a fire right outside the door. Windows or even a second door should be included in the plan.

2. Have a meeting place. Once an occupant escapes the residence, there should be a common, known meeting area which is a safe distance from the residence. At this location, an adult should ensure that everyone has safely escaped the residence.

Just as any sports team, public safety crew or military company regularly practices their plans, individuals also must practice their safety plan. Allow younger members of the household to have a part in the planning and practice of the home escape plan. Young people learn most effectively by participating. Make practicing the home escape plan fun and engaging. With practice comes confidence.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week slogan is a reminder that education alone will not prepare individuals for an emergency. Everyone must plan and practice their escape.

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12