State Fire Marshal reminds residents to “Have Two Ways Out!”
NASHVILLE, TN – 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 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
That’s why the State Fire Marshal’s Office and local fire departments across Tennessee are 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,” State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak says. “Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family’s safety, should fire occur in your home.”
The State Fire Marshal’s Office recommends the following 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 if possible.
• 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.
For more information on how to keep your family safe from fire, make plans to attend the State Fire Marshal’s Office Fire Prevention Week Kick-off Event on Friday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the plaza of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, 600 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office (www.tn.gov/commerce/sfm/) is a division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance (www.tn.gov/commerce/), which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/, @TNCommerceInsur (Twitter), http://on.fb.me/uFQwUZ (Facebook), http://bit.ly/ry1GyX (YouTube)