In preparation for Fire Prevention Week — Oct. 7-13 — Orange Fire Marshal Tim Smith reminds children and parents to plan, prepare and practice two escape routes from their homes in the event of an emergency.
Smith forwarded this message from the U.S. Fire Administration Office, echoing the lessons he has given for many years:
In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.
Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. It’s also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests. Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:
- Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Have two ways out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
- Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
- Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
- Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.
FEMA offers this Public Service Announcement for families to watch, and discuss together.