To commemorate Fire Prevention Week, the Calgary Fire Department is recommending citizens develop a home escape plan.
While the Calgary Fire Department encourages developing a home safety plan at any time of the year, Fire Prevention Week provides an opportunity to practice that escape plan, refresh a current plan or to create a new one to ensure everyone gets out safe and sound.
“It can be frightening waking up to the sound of a smoke alarm in your house,” said Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Carol Henke. “In those first few moments it is common to be disoriented or confused, so having a home escape plan that you and your family know and have practiced can really make all the difference.”
A home escape plan includes the members of a household sitting down to review the layout of their house and determining two ways out of every room, typically through a door and a window, and selecting a location outside of the house as a safe meeting place.
“Having and practicing your home escape plan can save valuable time – it can save your life,” said Henke.
In 2012, the Calgary Fire Department responded to more than 1,800 fires, which resulted in 22 civilian injuries and five deaths. Most fire deaths in Alberta happen in homes, especially at night when people are asleep. In as little as three minutes, a small fire can erupt and toxic smoke can cause disorientation or unconsciousness, which is not a lot of time to locate all the residents of your home, identify an escape route and get out safely.