Created by the National Fire Protection Association in 1922, Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 6 –12) highlights the ways people can protect themselves from fire. This year’s theme, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!,” focuses on developing an escape plan for the family.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department shares fire safety tips like the ones below year-round on its website, MyJFRD.com.
- Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms: A working smoke alarm can double the chance of survival in a house fire by warning residents when there's still time to escape. Install a smoke detector on each level of your home near stairwells and bedrooms to maximize protection. Change the batteries on smoke detectors when you change your clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time, and test them once a month. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and never take the battery out for other uses.
- Practice Your Escape Plan: Have a family meeting to discuss what to do if fire breaks out in your home. Plan two ways out of every room and make sure every member of the family knows the routes and can get out fast. Check your windows to see if they operate properly. Choose a safe meeting place outside the house where everyone knows to meet in a fire emergency. Have the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year. Once you are out of the house, stay out!
- Sound the Alarm: Call 9-1-1 from a cell phone or a neighbor's house to report a fire after you have escaped.
- Stop, Drop and Roll: If your clothes catch fire, don't run! Stop where you are, drop to the ground and roll over and over to smother the flames, making sure to cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs.
- Feel the Door: Feel the door with the back of your hand. If it is hot, do not open it. Find another way out. If the door is not hot, open it slowly and peek to see if the path is clear of fire and smoke. Close the door behind you to slow the spread of fire.
- Stay Low and Go: If there's smoke, escape by staying low to the ground. If you must exit through smoke, you will find the cleanest air several inches off the floor. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
- Walk Quickly, Don't Panic: Leave the building immediately when you hear an alarm.
- Never Hide: Firefighters and other potential rescuers can't find you in an emergency if you hide. While your instinct might be to hide from flames, get out of the house as fast as possible.
- Don't Go Back: Do not go back into a fire for anything. Possessions can be replaced, your life cannot.
Click here for more fire safety tips from the Jacksonville Fire &and Rescue Department.