Families need to think about fire safety

Published 12:28 am Monday, October 8, 2012

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, one-third of American households that 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 Natchez Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, this week, to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s team focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

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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. 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 fire department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:

  • 4Make a map of your house.
  • 4Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
  • 4Choose 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.
  • 4Write 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.

  • 4Keep 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 house celebrates a birthday.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week please contact the fire department at 601-442-3684.


Aaron Wesley is the fire marshal at the Natchez Fire Department.