While every week is Fire Prevention Week in Gig Harbor, the fire department is teaming up with the nonprofit (NFPA) during the official Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, to urge local residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
According to NFPA, one-third of American households estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
“One home structure was reported every 85 seconds in 2010, said Gig Harbor Fire Chief John Burgess. “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 happen in your home.”
Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:
- 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 your escape plan.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 911 once they are safe outside.
- Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups 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, contact Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One’s Prevention Division at 253-851-5111.
For more tips on fire safety, visit the Compliance and Safety website.