Every second counts in a home fire. That’s why developing an escape plan – and practicing it – is critical for all residents.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017, and this year’s theme is ‘Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!’ The Banff Fire Department is encouraging all residents to have a plan in place for the safest way to exit the home.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Fraser Kirby, Assistant Chief of the Banff Fire Department. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
The Banff Fire Department is working in with the Alberta Fire Commissioners office and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages.
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Kirby encourages all Banff households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA and the Banff Fire Department offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
The Banff Fire Department is also hosting an open house and pancake breakfast on Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fire Hall, 201 Beaver St., to recognize Fire Prevention Week. Everyone is welcome.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week in Banff, visit banff.ca/FireDepartment
. To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, ‘Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!’ and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Fraser Kirby, Assistant Chief, Banff Fire Department