Gainesville Daily Register
Members of Gainesville Fire and Rescue are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week — which began Sunday and extends through Saturday — to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!”
This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010.
That added up to 369,500 home structure fires, which caused 13,350 injuries and 2,640 deaths.
Statistics indicate that one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Gainesville safety officials want to ensure that area residents know what to do if a fire breaks out in their home. Preparation is an important part of being able to deal with an emergency and it is crucial to take steps to prepare one’s family for the potential of a home fire by having an escape plan and practicing it.
“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,” said Tamara Sieger of Gainesville Fire and Rescue.
Gainesville Fire and Rescue 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 on your escape plan.
• Write emergency telephone numbers on your escape plan and make sure everyone knows to call 911 for the fire department
• Sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape drill with everyone living in your home. Change batteries when the time changes.
• Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and practice the drill twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
Members of Gainesville Fire and Rescue will be presenting fire safety clown skits to local schools during Fire Prevention Week to promote “Have Two Ways Out!” Additionally, the department will have a booth at Depot Day in Gainesville on Saturday to stress the importance of fire safety. To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Gainesville, please contact Gainesville Fire-Rescue at (940) 668-7777. Additional information is available at www.firepreventionweek.org.