www.johnsonpublications.zenfolio.com Brooke Pankonin | Johnson Publications
Grant Volunteer firefighters Casandra Klima (left), Matt Deaver and Bri Griffin crawl through Perkins County Elementary students, showing them how they would look if they were searching for someone in a fire. They explained to students that although they may look and sound scary, they are there to help them. 

Every second counts: Plan 2 ways out

Consider this scenario: It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.

Members of Grant Volunteer Fire Department visited Perkins County Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 13 during Fire Prevention Week, which was observed Oct. 8-14. 

This year’s theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” worked to better educate about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years to reinforce potentially life-saving messages. 

“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

GVFD encourages all households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.

NFPA and GVFD offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

• Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

• Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.

• Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.

• Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

• Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.

• Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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