Posted: Oct 5, 2012 3:30 PM by KATC
Updated: Oct 5, 2012 3:43 PM
If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.
That's why Lafayette's Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, to urge residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" This year's theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice. In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage. In Lafayette, we responded to 293 structure fires. These fires caused 12 civilian injuries, 2 deaths, and $11 million dollars in estimated damages.
"One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010," says Fire Chief Robert Benoit of the Lafayette Fire Department. "Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family's safety should fire break out in your home."
Lafayette Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family's escape:
· Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
· Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they've escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
· Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
· Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
· Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
The Lafayette Fire Department will host fire safety classes to kids in grades K-1st at the Central Fire Station, 300 East Vermilion Street, during Fire Prevention Week to promote "Have Two Ways Out!" Through these educational activities, approximately 2,900 kids will learn about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention. In addition, we are sponsoring a coloring poster and essay contest with the assistance of Zonta Club of Lafayette. Every class in K-3rd was issued a blank poster board with instructions to design the poster based on this year's slogan, "Have Two Ways Out". Kids in grades 4th - 8th will write an essay on the slogan. The winners will be recognized on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm, Robicheaux Center. They will receive awards, prizes, pizza, and a ride on the fire truck.