WHEELERSBURG — You only have minutes to react in a residential fire situation and local business owners and fire departments are spreading the word.
Wheelersburg Porter Township Fire Department is teaming up with State Farm and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape.”
This year’s campaign, October 9-15, works to educate everyone about simple but important steps they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
“Today’s homes burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out depends on early warning from working smoke alarms and advance planning,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of the Outreach and Advocacy division at NFPA.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, it only takes 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a major blaze, and, according to FEMA, 3,000 Americans die from fires each year.
According to State Farm, the average household should attempt two fire drills a year to ensure its residents can safely escape in an adequate time.
This rule is especially important if you have children, elderly family, disabled individuals, or those with sensory disabilities.
Every room should have two escapes and there should be a meeting place outside of the home if there is ever an emergency, which should be a safe distance from the home.
Smoke alarms should be installed within every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, according to State Farm. They should also be interconnected so they all sound when one does.
Local State Farm agent Ryan Salmons encourages all residents to actively support this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign by developing and practicing a home escape plan with all members of their household.
Salmons recently donated a Fire Prevention Week kit to the fire department which includes activities and information for children and adults, providing age-appropriate messages about home fire safety and prevention.
“Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Fire presents real risk to all of us, making it important for every member of the community to take these messages seriously and put them into action,” said Salmons. “Keeping people safe is a large part of the State Farm heritage and who we are today.”