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 non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of American estimated they would have at least six minutes to get out safely before a house fire would become life threatening. However, the reality is that you have less than six minutes to get your family out safely.
That’s why the Southlake Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 house fires. These fires caused 13,350 injuries, 2,640 deaths, and $6.9 billion in damage.
“Also in 2010 a house fire was reported every 85 seconds,” says Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr. “Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. It is important to have at least two tried and true escape plans to get you and your family out of your home safely when seconds count.”
The Southlake Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:
To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.
An emergency can strike at any time or anywhere. Being prepared is the first step to surviving a natural disaster, fire or other emergency situation. Many families, businesses and organizations think they are ready for an emergency because they may already have most of the items they would need in their home or business. The real question to ask yourself is whether all of the necessary items are in one place, ready to “grab and go” within a moment’s notice.
When disaster strikes is not a good time to begin looking around for flashlights, blankets, or plenty of water bottles. You need an emergency kit that is already prepared with everything you will need to help you survive until help arrives.
You’ll want to prepare a large kit and a smaller one in case you need to leave your location once the disaster has passed. The emergency kits should contain enough non-perishable food and water to last at least 3 days. It should also include the following: daily prescriptions, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, flashlight with extra batteries, complete first aid kit, filter masks, whistle (to call for help), moist towelettes (for sanitation), wrench or pliers, manual can opener, plastic sheeting and duct tape, garbage bags and infant formula and diapers if you have small children. For a complete list of items that you will need in your emergency kit, go to www.ready.gov.
As a general rule, you will need one gallon of water per person per day for drinking. You’ll also want to include blankets or sleeping bags for each person. A family of four may want to prepare several emergency kits for those who can carry one.
Remember, planning ahead saves lives. September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. If you would like to learn more, someone from our Office of Emergency Management is offering to come to your community, school, church or business to present information to help you. To schedule a presentation, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-748-8624.