2017-10-11 / Opinions & Letters

Fire Prevention Week emphasizes home safety

Commentary

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Oct. 8 to 14 is “Fire Prevention Week.” The State Fire Marshal encourages Hoosier families to practice fire safety by planning evacuation routes for their homes. “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” is this year’s theme which serves to remind Hoosiers seconds can mean the difference between safety and a tragedy.

Families are encouraged to draw a map of the home and mark two exits from each room plus a path to the outside from each exit. Make sure to choose a family meeting point. Teach children how to escape on their own in case help isn’t available. When a fire alarm sounds, evacuate the building. Never go back inside a burning building.

Wait to call the fire department or first responders until outside of the home and a safe distance away and make sure the house number is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find during an emergency.

Tips to avoiding common fire hazards include: • Make sure extension cords are being used properly. Never use extension cords with home appliances and watch out for electrical cords across doorways or under carpets; • Never leave candles unattended and blow out candles when leaving a room; • Make sure to empty the lint filter in the dryer before or after each laundry load. Built up lint can cause fires; • Look for blocked doors, windows or pathways which can prevent or slow down an escape; • Make sure to use light bulbs with the correct number of watts. Using bulbs with wattage that is too high or too low for the fixture can start an electrical fire; and • Make sure every bedroom has a properly installed and working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms and alert devices are also available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and typically can be purchased at local hardware stores.

Visit GetPrepared.IN.gov for more information about fire prevention and safety.

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