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Escape plan an important part of fire safety planning

As the Troy Fire department prepares to honor fire prevention week, firefighters want to remind residents that citizens play a large role in keeping themselves safe before responders ever arrive.

The theme of this year’s fire prevention week, which will be held October 6-12, is “not every hero wears a cape; plan and practice your escape.” The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Fire Chief Michael Stephens. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

NFPA statistics show that in 2017 U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016. 

“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.fpw.org.