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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fire Escape Plan & Know Your Exits Out...

Leaving our home, the work place, a grocery store, theater, or even an airplane once it arrives at the airport terminal is a very simple task to do, you go through the exit. But, what if it’s blocked? What if you can’t go through the normal entrance to exit? In an emergency situation you might have to go through a second exit that’s not blocked. Sounds simple but in an emergency situation, and it has happen, the situation might balloon out of control where everyone gets caught up in the excitement of the emergency situation.

When you’re away from home always look and keep in mind of a second path of travel. Remember a proper plan of escape becomes essential. Preplanning maximizes a safe escape and is part of everyone’s daily fire prevention duties.

A proper plan of escape becomes very important in the home. It only takes 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a big blaze and your house can fill up with smoke in just minutes. That's why firefighters want every family to have an escape plan and practice it so everyone gets out alive.

You must have a plan to get out if your house ever catches on fire. You don’t have time to plan a fire escape plan when you need one. On a piece of paper draw a floor plan of your home. Draw two ways out of each room especially sleeping areas. You can use doorways and windows. Meet with everyone that lives in your home and discuss this floor plan and make sure everyone understands it. Plan a place to meet outside so everyone can wait on the fire department. Practice your plan. Make it realistic.

Pretend that some exits are blocked or use blindfolds to pretend the lights are out. Be sure everyone in the house can unlock all doors and windows that may be used to get out. Sleep with your doors closed to keep the heat and smoke out of your room longer to allow additional time to escape. Practice your drills at least twice a year. Remember that this is not a race, but ensure that everyone can escape quickly and safely.

If there is a fire:

Test the doors before you try to open them they may be hot. Use the back of your hand to test the door. If you appear to be trapped in a room stuff clothes or any thing you can find to try to stop the smoke from entering the room you are in until the fire department can get you out. If there is a fire do not stop for anything just get out and meet at your meeting place outside. Always crawl when leaving a smoke filled house.

Once you leave your home NEVER return to the home.

Here’s a one of my very first online videos I made entitled “Proper Escape Plan Becomes Essential” that I recorded for Fire Prevention Week 2009...

All the aspects I go over on a proper escape plan are all simple and easy to follow. Knowing two exits out is always important. Make it part of your daily routine to where it’ll be second nature if & when you will need to egress/exit a home of facility.

Creating an proper escape plan and having a meeting place speeds up the process for firefighters to move in and save your home.
Again, everyone should know at least two ways to get out of every room.
Knowing that second exit out will get you & family members out safely and keep everyone alive in an emergency situation.

For more information about having a proper fire escape plan visit: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) BASIC FIRE ESCAPE PLANNING or the United States Fire Administration (USFA) Escape Planning web pages.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Being Fire Safe on Independence Day!

U.S. Fire Administration Press Release:

The U.S. Fire Administration and Safe Kids USA Encourage Everyone to Practice Fire Safety During Independence Day Celebrations

EMMITSBURG, MD – The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and Safe Kids USA are encouraging families and individuals to prepare for a safe and memorable Fourth of July by practicing safe grilling and leaving the fireworks to the professionals.

“Independence Day is a major highlight of the summer and for many people there’s a lot of excitement around setting off colorful fireworks and starting up the grill,” said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. Meri-K Appy, President, Safe Kids USA joins Deputy Administrator Gaines in urging all Americans to have a fun and safe weekend. “We are reminding everyone of simple steps they can take to protect their children who are most vulnerable to fire-related burns, injuries, and deaths,” says Appy.


Many children and adults are fascinated by fireworks, but they can be extremely dangerous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) annual death and injury report (PDF, 325 Kb) on fireworks, approximately 40 percent of fireworks injuries occur to children younger than 15 years of age. In addition, CPSC received reports of three fatalities related to fireworks in 2010.

The best way to protect your family and friends is not to use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.

Fireworks Fire Safety Tips

  • Sparklers are not toys. They can reach 2,000o Fahrenheit--hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Leave pieces of fireworks on the ground after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode.
  • Stand several feet away from the professionals lighting fireworks; fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.

For more information, please visit the USFA’s Focus on Fire Safety: Fireworks webpage and Safe Kids USA at


Every Fourth of July Americans look forward to picnics, camping, and other outdoor activities. The holiday, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking. By taking a few fire safety precautions, you can ensure that everyone enjoys a safe Independence Day.

Grilling Fire Safety Tips

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Grills should be positioned at least 10 feet away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep, matches, lighters, and starter fluid out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet .
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
  • Use long barbeque mitts and long-handled grilling tools to protect the chef from heat and flames when cooking.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

For more information, please visit Safe Kids USA at and the USFA’s Focus on Fire Safety: Summer Fire Safety webpage.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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