Posted on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at 11:54 am
It's national Fire Prevention Week, and we at the Madison Fire Department want you to LOOK, LISTEN, LEARN, BE AWARE: Fire Can Happen Anywhere!
Whether you’re home, out to dinner, or at a public venue you’ve never visited before, always identify two ways out in case of emergency.
In a fire, you may only have minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
Develop a home escape plan with your household. The plan should include:
- Two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window
- A path from each exit to the outside
- An outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone will meet
Practice your plan with everyone in your home twice a year!
Today’s homes burn faster than ever
Newer homes are predominantly built with unprotected lightweight wood construction which fails faster when it’s exposed to high temperatures, and it weakens and collapses faster than homes built with dimensional lumber.
Newer homes tend to be designed with lots of open spaces and high ceilings, creating an ideal environment for fire to grow and spread quickly.
The vast majority of modern home furnishings are made of synthetic materials that burn very quickly and at higher temperatures. In a matter of moments, black, toxic smoke and gases make it extremely difficult to see and breathe.
Know your options when you're away from home
When you’re out and about, situational awareness is key! Remember to be aware of your surroundings and plan how you would escape the building in the event of a fire or other emergency.
- When you’re preparing to enter a building, ask yourself if it looks safe and well-maintained.
- Check to see that doors aren’t locked or blocked from the inside.
- Look for the two closest exits and identify the path you would take to reach them.
- If you hear the fire alarm system sound, take it seriously and exit the building calmly but quickly. This is particularly important in larger occupancies like malls and movie theaters, where it may be too late to escape if you wait to see evidence of fire.