POSTED: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 4:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 4:29pm
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 nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
That’s why Longview 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 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
“Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize” says Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary. “Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home.”
Longview Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:
• Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
• Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
• Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
• Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
• Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
The Longview Fire Department will be hosting its Annual Block Party October 27, 2012 from 10 am – 2 pm. This year, Longview Fire Department has partnered with Project Reach and The Roc. This event will feature music, entertainment, family activities, free food, and fire education demonstrations. For more information about the block party please contact the Longview Fire Department at 903.237.1119 To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org  .