It’s National Fire Prevention Week

By Cal Fire
Contributed

Move over superheroes, and look around, every Californian can be a hero if they know and practice fire safety skills. As Fire Prevention Week soars Oct. 6 to 12, planning and practicing a safe escape is the key to getting out of a house fire or wildfire in time. “Being aware of your surroundings is an ability people need to use wherever they go,” said Cal Fire Director Thom Porter. “No matter where you are, look for two ways out. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit immediately. If you are in a wildfire situation, leave early.”

Complacency can result in disaster. Now is the time to educate yourself and your family about the small but important actions to keep everyone safe. Start with a home escape plan and practice it monthly, during the day and at night so it becomes muscle memory. Have an outside meeting place so your family knows where to go and to stay, and also have a communication plan in place. In a wildfire, don’t wait to evacuate. If it’s an uncomfortable situation, leave early and make sure to take your pets and important items with you.

“Your ability to get out safely depends on advance planning and warning,” said California State Fire Marshal Mike Richwine. “Per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 47% of those have practiced it. We can do better.”

By being a hero, you can be someone who takes small, but important actions to keep yourself and those around you safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be the hero in your household and your community.

Here are a few things you can do:

• Make an escape plan, practice your plan monthly during the day and at night to make sure that children and adults react to the smoke alarm and know what to do.

• Draw a map of each level of the home. Show two ways out of every room.

• Have an outside meeting place like a mailbox, tree, or light. Call 911 from your meeting place.

• Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone helps them.

• Install smoke alarms inside every sleeping area, in hallways outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home.

• If people are trapped, firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them. Firefighters have the training, experience and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings.

Become a hero by learning fire safety skills to protect you, your family, and your community. For more detailed information, visit www.readyforwildfire.org or www.fire.ca.gov.

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