It's Fire Prevention Week, and this is the time to plan your family's escape.  Would your family know how to get out of the house within two minutes, and where to meet afterward?

With space heaters and candles burning, fall and winter tend to bring bigger fire risks.  Firefighters who have seen situations end in tragedy want us to know that we all need to have fire evacuation plans in place so that the whole family makes it out of the house safely.  Do you have a plan?  I'll admit that I don't have anything concrete now, but after reading about what could happen, it's definitely on the to-do list this weekend.

NFPA.org says, "today’s homes burn faster than ever" and we may have as little as two minutes to escape after the smoke alarm sounds.  Two minutes!  When the smoke alarm sounds in a real fire, it’s too late to start making a plan.

So how do we make that plan?

1.  Map it out.  Draw arrows to the exits, which could be doors or windows, and make sure the kids understand the map.

2.  Make sure there are enough smoke alarms.  There should be at least one on every level and one in each sleeping area.

3.  Pick a meeting place.  It may be down the street or behind the house in the back yard, but make sure it's far enough away from the house that you won't feel the heat.

4.  911.  Make sure the kids know how to call for help.

There is a lot of focus on helping kids understand what do do if the smoke alarm sounds, but now is a good time to make sure Grandma and Grandpa know too because older adults are the most likely ones to die in a fire, according to NFPA.org.

Fire Prevention Week runs through October 12, and Tyler firefighters have held several events around town and at schools and libraries to raise awareness this week. We hope you never have an encounter with them while they're on the job (at your house), but it's good to be prepared just in case.  This is the perfect weekend to make that evacuation plan.  

We have fire evacuation plans at work and at school, so shouldn't we be having them at home too?