October is Fire Prevention Month, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue reminds you that “fire won’t wait — plan your escape.”
This year, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal campaign, “Plan, Practice, Be Prepared with a Home Fire Escape Plan,” focuses on the importance of knowing what to do in the event of a fire.
Fire is nothing like what you see on television or in the movies. It produces dark and toxic smoke that can fill your home in minutes and can confuse you to the point you never make it out. That is why every firefighter wears an air pack before entering a burning building and uses thermal imaging devices to search for anyone trapped inside a structure.
Working smoke alarms are designed to activate early to help ensure that you and your family have time to safely escape from your home. Smoke alarms should be installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home.
To create your escape plan, we recommend drawing a map of your home with all members of your household and marking two exits from each room and a path to your designated meeting place outside that is a safe distance from your home. One of those exits could be a window.
Once you have an escape map, have a home fire drill and practice using different ways out. Remember to get low and go. We recommend closing doors behind you as you leave to help slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
It’s important to teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them. Families with infants, toddlers, and loved ones with mobility needs should make special plans to ensure everyone gets out safely.
Once outside, remain outside, and call 911. Never go back inside a burning building for anything.
For more fire prevention tips and tools to create a fire escape plan, click here.