The following is from the Maplewood Fire Department:
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 the Maplewood 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.
“One home structure was reported every 85 seconds in 2010,” says Deputy Chief Michael Dingelstedt of the Maplewood Fire Department. “Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home.”
The Maplewood 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 (911) 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 Maplewood Fire Department will be attending activities at the local grammar schools during Fire Prevention Week to promote “Have Two Ways Out!” Through these educational, activities, students from kindergarten through 3rd grade will learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention.
On October 13, Maplewood Firefighters will be in attendance at Harvest Fest, located at the Hilton Branch Library, to discuss fire safety with those in attendance.
The Maplewood Fire Department offers free in-home fire inspections for township residents. Firefighters will come to your home to help identify fire hazards and make suggestions to improve home safety for your family. Inspections generally take about one hour and during the inspection, some items discussed are correct placement and testing of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, fire escape planning, proper removal of fire hazards, and proper types and placement of fire extinguishers.
To find out more about Fire Prevention programs and activities in Maplewood, please contact Deputy Chief Michael Dingelstedt of the Maplewood Fire Department at 973-762-6500, ext. 12 or email@example.com. To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.