Residents urged to map out home escape plan

**** HRFE Media Release

Residents urged to map out home escape plan

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) is encouraging residents to become everyday heroes next week by mapping out and executing an escape route from their home.

National Fire Prevention Week begins on Sunday and the theme this year is “Not every hero wears a cape. PLAN and PRACTISE your ESCAPE!

Studies have shown residents have as little as two to three minutes from when they hear a smoke alarm to safely escape from a house fire. Planning and practising an escape plan can help reduce panic and confusion in an emergency.

People who motivate their households to develop and practise a home fire escape plan can have a life-saving impact on their loved ones.

There are many things residents can do to make their homes safer.

  • Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home, showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home
  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible
  • Check windows to ensure they open easily and that the opening is adequate in size for all family members
  • Consider where each window leads; escape ladders can be purchased for use on 2nd and 3rd storeys
  • React fast to fire – get out and stay out. If you escape, don’t go back into a burning building for any reason. Let trained and properly equipped firefighters do the rescue work
  • Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone knows to meet
  • Call 911 from a safe location and, if necessary, prepare to provide responding fire crews with information on the location of those in need of assistance

HRFE also has two programs aimed at equipping citizens with valuable fire prevention tips and tools.

The first is HRFE’s ‘Alarmed and Ready’ program, which provides residents with smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors if they cannot afford one.

In addition, HRFE recently introduced the Practice Using Safety at Home (PUSH) program, which puts fire crews into the community, performing home visits. These home visits include education on civic numbering, emergency preparedness, the importance of early warning devices, and a demonstration on how to maintain and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Residents are encouraged to call 311 for more information on either program.

HRFE is also running a social media contest through the month of October. Head to the Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Facebook page beginning at 9:11 a.m. on Sunday to get more information.

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