Firefighters will remind people about the dangers of house fires and teach about planning and practicing escape routes during a house fire.
According to the prevention association, 3,030 Americans and 92 Oklahomans died in 2005 in house fires. Health officials estimate that only 23 percent of households have implemented and practiced a fire escape plan.
“Many times when we speak to residents who have experienced a fire in their home they recall becoming confused and disoriented by the conditions and severity of the situation. But they realized they needed to get out fast,” said Shelli Stephens-Stidham, Health Department Injury Prevention Service Chief. “Sometimes there are only seconds to escape, but there’s no question that having a plan in place that has been practiced saves precious time and makes survival more likely.”
The Health Department offered eight tips to prepare for a house fire:
— Install working smoke alarms on every level and inside and outside all sleeping areas.
— Develop a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of each room and a family meeting place outside.
— Make sure the fire escape plan allows for specific needs in the household, including helping infants, young children and disabled people escape.
— Practice a fire escape plan twice a year.
— Remember that some people may not awake to the sound of a smoke alarm and may need help waking up.
— Go to the closest exit if a smoke alarm sounds. Find another route if you encounter smoke. If you must go through smoke, get low and go under the smoke.
— Don’t take your belongings. Move fast, but stay calm.
— Test smoke alarms monthly.