E.D.I.T.H. can help families stay safe, better prepare for emergency, YFD says
One of the best things a family can do to prepare for a fire emergency in their home is to practice for when the alarm sounds, which is why the Yuma Fire Department is introducing the community to E.D.I.T.H. on Day 3 of National Fire Prevention Week.
E.D.I.T.H. stands for “exit drills in the home,” and firefighters recommend that all families have a proper escape route for use in emergencies. How important is E.D.I.T.H.? Consider the statistics: According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were over 501,500 residential fires in 2015.
Planning is neither time consuming nor difficult. In fact, a plan can be developed in less than half an hour and be modified as necessary with practice. Think about it: thirty minutes of planning may be all it takes to save the lives of family members.
From YFD, here are three easy steps to being better prepared:
1. Survey your home. Look for alternate ways out of every room and where you would go if one way was blocked.
2. Make a plan based on what you have found. You can even draw a floor plan of your house showing where all your emergency exits are. Be sure to identify a place where everyone will meet once they get out. This way, you will be able to tell firefighters that everyone is safe, or if someone is missing.
3. Simply creating home escape plan is not enough. It must be practiced so that each person knows exactly what to do. Practice your plan with all those who live in the home. This helps children to know what to do. A fire is a frightening experience, and too often children will hide under beds or in closets if they don’t know what else to do. That response is very dangerous.
YFD also mentions that smoke alarms save lives. Batteries should be replaced at least once a year and alarms tested monthly. Combine these tests with doing home fire drills and your children will be more likely to recognize the sound of the alarm and take the proper action in a real emergency.
For more information, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 373-4855.