With more than 2,600 people killed in about 370,000 house fires in 2010, fire departments everywhere are urging families to make sure they have at least two escape routes out of their homes.
Sunday through Oct. 13, the City of Falls Church along with the National Fire Protection Association will observe Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme, “Have Two Ways Out,” is designed to get families thinking about fire safety.
“One home structure was reported every 85 seconds in 2010,” City of Falls Church Fire Marshal Capt. Tom Polera said in a written statement. “Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried-and-true escape plan with ‘two ways out’ is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home.”
To mark the end of Fire Prevention Week, the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department will host an open house on Saturday.
Polera said people should be prepared in the case of a house fire and recommends these tips:
• Make an escape plan from a map of the home, marking a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
• Choose a meeting place outside where everyone can meet. Mark the meeting place on the escape plan.
• Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on the escape plan.
• Sound the smoke alarm and practice the escape plan with everyone living in the home.
• Keep the escape plan on the refrigerator and practice twice a year or whenever anyone in the home celebrates a birthday.