E.D.I.T.H. can help fam­i­lies stay safe, bet­ter pre­pare for emer­gency, YFD says

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JAMES GILBERT @YSJAMESGILBERT James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yu­masun.com or 5396854. Find him on Face­book at www. Face­book.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twit­ter @YSJamesGilbert.

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.

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