This is Fire Prevention Week, and this year's theme is "Have 2 Ways Out." I want to encourage the citizens of our community to develop and practice a fire escape plan. Your plan should be shared and practiced with all other family members who live in your home, both children and adults.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, a residential structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in the United States in 2010. That is 369,500 responses to home structure fires that resulted in 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,630 civilian deaths and $6.9 billion in direct damage. These numbers are alarming, and it is my duty to help educate our citizens to be prepared should you find yourself in this type of situation.
It is difficult to prepare for the unexpected, but you can start with this scenario. It is the middle of the night and you and your family are sound asleep. You awake to the beeping of a smoke alarm and you are tired and confused from the effects of the smoke. You know you need to get to safety but when you head for the door, you find that your escape route is blocked by a growing fire. What do you do? You use your second way out to make your escape and meet the rest of your family at the established meeting place outside of your home. The Turlock Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family's fire escape plan: