It's 3 a.m. You and your family are sound asleep and awake to the beeping smoke alarm. You are tired and confused from the effects of the smoke. You know you need to get to safety, but when you head for the front door, you find that escape route is blocked by fire that is spreading by the second. What do you do? While this scenario is one we hope you never have to encounter, the statistics tell us that many people do every day. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association, one home fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010. That added up to 369,500 home fires, which caused 13,350 injuries and 2,640 deaths. The numbers are scary, but there is something you can do to help ensure your family's safety should a fire break out in your home: Have Two Ways Out!Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and Red, White & Blue Fire are teaming up in observation of national Fire Prevention Week, Sunday through Oct. 13, to urge residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" This year's theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.Only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire-escape plan. And of those who do have an escape plan, most have not actually practiced it. Fire is unpredictable. Seconds and minutes can mean the difference between life and death. We want to ensure that Summit County residents know what to do if a fire breaks out in their home. Preparation is an important part of being able to deal with an emergency, and it is crucial that you take steps to prepare your family for the potential of a home fire by having an escape plan and practicing it.Although preparing for the unexpected is difficult, reviewing the information below and taking action based on it to plan for a fire could save lives. Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and Red, White & Blue Fire recommend 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. Sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape drill with everyone living in your home. Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and practice the drill twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
Walk through you home and identify two ways out of each room. Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they've escaped. Make sure everyone knows the emergency number for your local fire department. Practice your escape drill twice a year. Both Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and Red, White & Blue Fire will be visiting Summit County's schools and hosting open houses in observation of Fire Prevention Week to promote "Have Two Ways Out!" Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire-escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention. The Red, White & Blue Fire open house will be from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday at the main fire station, 316 N. Main St. in Breckenridge. The Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue open house will be from 4-7 p.m. on Oct. 17, at the Dillon station, 225 Lake Dillon Dr. Both events are free and open to the public and will feature food, activities, giveaways and a visit from Smokey Bear - fun for the whole family.