Firefighters urging residents to learn basic fire safety rules
Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 8:15 am

In observance of National Fire Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York is asking residents to learn basic fire safety rules to help save lives.

This year’s prevention theme -- “Have 2 Ways Out!”-- urges residents to stress the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

“Fire deaths can be prevented,” said FASNY President Jim Burns. “Implementing and practicing an escape plan in the home increases the chance of survival. Every year, we see tragic losses of life that don’t have to happen, and that can be avoided by following a few basic safety rules.”

Fires can spread very quickly through a home, leaving occupants with roughly two minutes to escape safely, once the smoke detector alarms sound. Yet, according to the National Fire Protection Association, one-third of American households who were asked to make an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening.

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.

“Fire Prevention Month and Fire Prevention Week are perfect opportunities to teach and remind the public about fire safety and why it is so important,” said President Burns. FASNY and the NFPA suggest exit drills at home by making a map of your house, marking a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room. Choose a meeting place outside, in front of the house, 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 house. Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and practice the plan twice a year.

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