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Smoke alarms, escape plans — a big part of your life safety team
Oct 15, 2010

In Stuyvesant, N.Y., the Demarest family lived in their 110-year-old house, which they loved and enjoyed. Knowing the age of the home and that it was built without some of the modern safety equipment required in today's homes, they took it upon themselves to plan ahead in case of fire.

The house had plenty of working smoke alarms, and they regularly practiced fire drills with family members. One night last month, Kelly Demarest awoke to a smoke alarm going off. She put her plan into action by waking everyone else up, and they went outside and met at the family meeting place. Their home burned to the ground, and they were outside with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, but they are all alive because of the smoke alarms and escape plans.

When a fire breaks out, time is your enemy. Every second counts, and the fire builds and grows rapidly. Fires kill more than 3,500 Americans each year and injure more than 20,000 more. Just like the Demarest family, you must act quickly and leave the home. Don't waste time trying to save property. Things can be replaced - you can't.

Practice two ways out of every room in the home with every family member present. One way out is the door you used to enter the room, and the second way out needs to be planned. It is often times a window, but can everyone open the window and where does the window lead? Basement windows are often times too small to exit, and upper-floor windows might require an emergency escape ladder in the room to allow for a safe exit.

The family meeting place is an important landmark. With everyone going to the same place, it is easy to make sure that all family members are out and safe. This keeps family members from re-entering a burning building to look for someone who may already be outside. Tell the firefighters if someone is missing, as our protective gear is better suited to that environment than standard clothing. Rest assured, we will risk our lives to save those of your loved ones.

Never open doors that are hot. Use the back of your hand and feel the door as high as you can reach. If it is hot, use the second way out. If it is not hot, then carefully feel the doorknob, as metal tends to conduct heat faster than wood. If the door and knob are not hot, carefully and slowly open the door with your body pressed against the door. Look up from behind the door. If you see smoke pouring in, or the orange glow of fire, then push the door with your body until it closes. If there are still no problems seen in the The house had plenty of working smoke alarms, and they regularly practiced fire drills with family members. One night last month, Kelly Demarest awoke to a smoke alarm going off. She put her plan into action by waking everyone else up, and they went outside and met at the family meeting place. Their home burned to the ground, and they were outside with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, but they are all alive because of the smoke alarms and escape plans.

When a fire breaks out, time is your enemy. Every second counts, and the fire builds and grows rapidly. Fires kill more than 3,500 Americans each year and injure more than 20,000 more. Just like the Demarest family, you must act quickly and leave the home. Don't waste time trying to save property. Things can be replaced - you can't.

Practice two ways out of every room in the home with every family member present. One way out is the door you used to enter the room, and the second way out needs to be planned. It is often times a window, but can everyone open the window and where does the window lead? Basement windows are often times too small to exit, and upper-floor windows might require an emergency escape ladder in the room to allow for a safe exit.

The family meeting place is an important landmark. With everyone going to the same place, it is easy to make sure that all family members are out and safe. This keeps family members from re-entering a burning building to look for someone who may already be outside. Tell the firefighters if someone is missing, as our protective gear is better suited to that environment than standard clothing. Rest assured, we will risk our lives to save those of your loved ones.

The house had plenty of working smoke alarms, and they regularly practiced fire drills with family members. One night last month, Kelly Demarest awoke to a smoke alarm going off. She put her plan into action by waking everyone else up, and they went outside and met at the family meeting place. Their home burned to the ground, and they were outside with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, but they are all alive because of the smoke alarms and escape plans.

When a fire breaks out, time is your enemy. Every second counts, and the fire builds and grows rapidly. Fires kill more than 3,500 Americans each year and injure more than 20,000 more. Just like the Demarest family, you must act quickly and leave the home. Don't waste time trying to save property. Things can be replaced - you can't.

Practice two ways out of every room in the home with every family member present. One way out is the door you used to enter the room, and the second way out needs to be planned. It is often times a window, but can everyone open the window and where does the window lead? Basement windows are often times too small to exit, and upper-floor windows might require an emergency escape ladder in the room to allow for a safe exit.

The family meeting place is an important landmark. With everyone going to the same place, it is easy to make sure that all family members are out and safe. This keeps family members from re-entering a burning building to look for someone who may already be outside. Tell the firefighters if someone is missing, as our protective gear is better suited to that environment than standard clothing. Rest assured, we will risk our lives to save those of your loved ones.

Never open doors that are hot. Use the back of your hand and feel the door as high as you can reach. If it is hot, use the second way out. If it is not hot, then carefully feel the doorknob, as metal tends to conduct heat faster than wood. If the door and knob are not hot, carefully and slowly open the door with your body pressed against the door. Look up from behind the door. If you see smoke pouring in, or the orange glow of fire, then push the door with your body until it closes. If there are still no problems seen in the hallway, then you can peek around the door frame to see if the way out is clear.

Once you are out of the house, stay out. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Call 911 from outside the home, and report to arriving firefighters that everyone is accounted for or not and any information you may have as to where the fire was.

We can all learn from the Demarest family about preparedness. We hope you never need your escape plan, but it is always best to prepare for the worst.

Tom Kiurski is training coordinator for the Livonia

Fire Department

.


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IAFF Local 1164
14910 Farmington Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
  7344662444

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