In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time a smoke alarm sounds, according to the City of West Kelowna.
That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely, according to the city.
The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8 to 14, is Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out! This theme will better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practising it.
West Kelowna Fire Rescue is encouraging residents of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation to develop a home escape plan with members in their household and practice it.
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home, according to the city.
Here are some additional tips and recommendations for developing and practising a home escape plan:
Draw a map of your home with all members of the household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
Once outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, West Kelowna Fire Rescue and Westbank First Nation personnel will be visiting three mobile home parks from Oct. 3 to 14 to check for working smoke alarms and discuss home escape planning with residents.