If there was a fire in your home, do you know exactly how you'd get out? Do you know more than one way to escape?
Those questions are the focus of this year's National Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13.
The National Fire Prevention Association recommends that families have two separate escape routes from their homes. While having one route planned out is good, what would you do if that route was blocked by fire or smoke?
There are several things to consider when planning an escape route, says the NFPA:
- Make a home escape plan, including two ways to escape from any room.
- Make sure that all the doors and windows open easily.
- Choose a safe meeting place outdoors, like a mailbox, streetlight, or tree, away from the house.
- Practice your escape plan both during the day and at night.
- Close doors behind you as you leave the house.
It's also recommended that kids know how to escape on their own, should they be separated from the adults in the house.
An NFPA survey showed that only one in three households have actually developed and practiced an escape plan. The same survey said that one-third of American households thought they would have at least six minutes to escape - the time is often much less than that.
The NFPA has informational flyers on their website covering escape routes, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and fire safety. There's also a kids' page featuring Sparky, the NFPA mascot, with downloadable activities to teach children about fire safety.
National Fire Prevention Week was established by President Warren G. Harding in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire on October 8-9, 1871. National Fire Prevention Week is currently the longest-running public health and safety observance on record.