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IDHS: Design escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week

IDHS: Design escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week IDHS: Design escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week

The Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security is partnering with the National Fire Protection Association during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9 to 15 to encourage Hoosiers to plan ahead so each family member knows what to do in the event of a house fire.

2022 is the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”

Families can take simple yet important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

New homes can burn faster than ever because of the material used during construction. Residents may have as little as two minutes or less to safely escape a house fire once a smoke alarm sounds.

If you do not have working smoke alarms in your home, you may never get a chance to escape because you will not know about the fire until it is too late. Buy and install smoke alarms throughout your home.

Make sure your smoke alarms work by testing them the first day of each month.

Go to each room of your home and make sure you have two ways to escape the room in case a fire is blocking one of the exits. If objects, such as furniture, are preventing a quick escape, rearrange the room. For rooms on an upper level, you may need to buy escape ladders.

Use an escape grid or a sheet of graph paper to draw a map of the home, including all doors and windows, and how everyone in the household can escape each room. Discuss who will help children, older adults or people with disabilities if there is a fire. They may need help to wake up or escape. Decide on a place away from the home where everyone should meet after escaping.

At least twice a year, go to each room of the home and practice what you would do when the smoke alarm alerts you of a fire. Do the drill during the daytime and at night so you know what you may need to do differently at different times of day.

Practice getting low or crawling in case there is smoke. Smoke and hot air rise, so staying low to the floor may help you breathe and see better as you escape.

Close doors behind you. This may help slow the spread of a fire.

Do not spend time saving personal property or go back inside after escaping. Your life is more important than your possessions, and rescues are best left for firefighters to handle.