The Edmond Sun

Local News

October 5, 2012

Fire safety accompanies cooler weather

EDMOND — If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety?

A third of American households think they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening, according to a recent survey by the National Fire Protection Association. Unfortunately, the actual time available is often less.  

Edmond Fire Maj. Bill Brown said that’s why the Edmond Fire Department is teaming up with the NFPA during 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, Brown said.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires, Brown said. 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,” Brown said. “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 break out in your home.”  

The Edmond Fire Department 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 the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.

• 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.

Brown said the EFD will host station tours, apparatus demonstrations, safety message skits in the area public schools and educational talking tours in the Children’s Safety Village during Fire Prevention Week to promote “Have Two Ways Out!”

Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention, Brown said.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Edmond, please contact the Edmond Fire Department at 216-7303.

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