October is Fire Prevention Awareness month, reminding everyone to have a plan in case of an emergency, a simple yet important strategy to keep you and your family safe. “We want everybody to know two ways out of their house and practice it,” said Rick Nemier, Nedrow Fire Department’s assistant chief and the president of the Onondaga County Volunteer Firemen’s Association.
The association visits schools to teach children the importance of having an escape plan in case of a fire. There’s an activity book for children to draw their escape routes from their home, as well as marking a planned meeting spot for everyone in the home. “If I find that everybody’s out of the house and they’re standing in a centrally-located spot where I can find them that makes my job a lot easier because now I can put all of my resources into putting the fire out. I don’t have to do a search,” said Nemier.
Timing is critical when combating a house fire considering a home could go up in as little as 7 to 10 minutes. Nemier suggests practicing with your children as soon as they are able to walk, talk and understand the plan. Practicing a fire drill during the day and even during the night will prepare children for an emergency.
Smoke detectors are also an important prevention device. New improvements give smoke detectors a sealed case to keep dust and dirt out keeping the detectors working more efficiently. Battery life has been extended as well as the addition of carbon monoxide detectors.
In a recent fire, a smoke detector saved the lives of people living on the 3rd floor of a home from a fire that was started on the 1st floor.
For more information on fire safety and how you can get involved in fire service, visit OCVFA.org.