Plan two ways out! Fire Pre­ven­tion Week is Oct. 8-14

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

In­sur­ance and Safety Fire Com­mis­sioner Ralph Hud­gens and the Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion (NFPA) want to re­mind Ge­or­gians that Fire Pre­ven­tion Week is Oct. 8-14. The theme for 2017 is, “Ev­ery Sec­ond Counts; Plan 2 Ways Out!”

This year, Com­mis­sioner Hud­gens and fire per­son­nel around the state will be spread­ing the word about the im­por­tance of hav­ing work­ing smoke alarms in your home and re­in­forc­ing why ev­ery­one needs to have and prac­tice an es­cape plan.

“Most fatal fires start be­tween 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the fam­ily is asleep,” Com­mis­sioner Hud­gens said. “Nine out of 10 fire vic­tims are al­ready dead be­fore the fire de­part­ment is even called, mainly from smoke and toxic gases. The ad­vance warn­ing of a smoke alarm can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.”

So far in 2017, fire has claimed the lives of 84 Ge­or­gians, with 74 of those deaths oc­cur­ring in res­i­den­tial hous­ing. In 61 of the res­i­den­tial hous­ing deaths, fire in­ves­ti­ga­tors were un­able to de­ter­mine if a work­ing smoke alarm was present. Hud­gens also urges all res­i­dents to have a planned fire es­cape route from their home, and a des­ig­nated meet­ing place to en­sure ev­ery­one has es­caped. Fam­i­lies should prac­tice their es­cape route, so ev­ery­one knows what to do in case of an emer­gency.

Com­mis­sioner Hud­gens and NFPA of­fer the fol­low­ing tips when plan­ning and prac­tic­ing your es­cape plan:

· Draw a map of your home, in­clud­ing all the doors and win­dows · Find two ways out of ev­ery room · Make sure doors and win­dows are not blocked

· Choose an out­side meet­ing place in front of your home

· Prac­tice your drill with ev­ery­one in the home

· Get out­side to your meet­ing place

“The dense smoke and heat from a house fire can cause peo­ple to panic,” Deputy In­sur­ance Com­mis­sioner Jay Florence said. “Hav­ing a pre-planned es­cape path from ev­ery room can sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease your chances of sur­vival.”

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