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If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety?
According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association, one-third of Americans households estimated they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening.
Unfortunately, the time available is often less, which is why the Fort Benning Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, to urge residents to Have Two Ways Out!
This years theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
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.
One home-structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010, said Steven Lowell, Fort Benning assistant chief of Fire Prevention with the Fort Benning Fire Department. Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your familys safety should fire break out in your home.
Officials with the Fort Benning Fire Department recommend the following tips for planning your familys 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 of your home. This is where everyone can meet once theyve 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.
Practice the escape plan with everyone your home, including having an adult sound the smoke alarm.
Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator. Practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in celebrates a birthday.
The Fort Benning Fire Department will host activities at all schools, and child development centers, as well as a safety demonstration Oct. 9 at the Main PX.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities, contact Lowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-545-0283. For more information on fire safety, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.