Fire safety officials observe Fire Prevention Week with advice to
protect homes & families
family should 'Have 2 Ways Out'
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[October 13, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- The Office of the
Illinois State Fire Marshal, in cooperation with the National Fire
Protection Association, is marking Fire Prevention Week to educate
families on the importance of fire protection. This year's theme,
"Have 2 Ways Out," aims to educate families on how to establish a
fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room in the
"Having a fire escape plan should
be a priority for every family. The plan should include two ways out
of every room in the house," said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis.
"Everyone in the household should be trained on how to escape the
home within the first three minutes after the sound of a smoke
A "two ways out" plan should also include overnight guests and
visiting friends or family members. Families should assign a place
to meet outside during a fire emergency and instruct members not to
go back inside the house.
Special attention should be paid to infants and toddlers, as they
cannot help themselves during an emergency. An adult family member
should be assigned to immediately assist infants and children under
the age of 5 at the sound of a smoke alarm.
Children should be taught to never hide in closets, under a bed
or table during a fire emergency. Parents should encourage
school-age children to participate in fire drills in their schools
and share with family members what they learned from the experience.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, every 80
seconds fire departments respond to a house fire in United States.
In 2011, fire departments in United States responded to 1,389,500
fires. The most recent statistics reflect 369,000 house fires,
resulting in more than 3,005 civilian deaths. Of those, 2,520
fatalities were reported in homes. Fire injuries to civilians during
the same year totaled 17, 500. Nearly 14,000 of those cases occurred
in home fires.
The following is a list of fire prevention recommendations:
Making a "two ways out" escape plan with your
family for every room in the house could be disguised as a fun
activity through role-playing. Parents should stress helping
those who are most vulnerable, such as seniors and the disabled.
Smoke alarms -- Install a smoke
alarm on every level of your home, including bedrooms and
hallways, and replace the batteries twice a year.
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Avoid overloading circuits or extension cords.
Cords and wires should never be placed under rugs or in
Unplug all appliances when not in use. Follow the
manufacturer's safety precautions, and use all five senses to
spot any potential disasters.
Keep plugs safe --
Make sure there is ample space around any portable
heating unit. Anything that could catch fire should be at least
three feet away. Inspect your home's chimney annually and use
fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.
Try to keep TV sets, kitchen
appliances and other appliances away from windows with curtains.
If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire
appliances carefully --
Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas.
Clean the lint filter every time after every drying load, and
clean the exhaust duct at least twice a year to prevent blockage
behind the dryer.
Clean dryer vents
-- Children should never be allowed
to use matches or lighters. Inspect children's bedrooms for any
matches or candles being used without adults' consent.
Keep matches and
lighters in a safe place
For more information about fire safety prevention and more, visit
Office of the State Fire
received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]