(WKBN) – A home structure fire was reported every 93 seconds during 2021, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). There was a death in the home every 3 hours and 8 minutes. So, creating an escape plan for your family is extremely important.
Home fires are different than 20 or 30 years ago. Materials in homes now are very flammable, which raises the danger.
“It’s everything. The smoke and then the temperatures that everything’s burning at and the speed that it burns at now,” said Springfield Township Fire Chief Matt Gebhardt.
Fire prevention starts at home because you never know when a fire will start. Every fire chief and firefighter will encourage a family to be prepared.
“A fire escape plan is very important. It’s very important for your kids to know,” Gebhardt said.
You can start when a child is young enough to walk around the house. One of the most important things to do is to show them two ways out of the house.
“So you know your exits in case the primary that you were taking is blocked by fire or something to go with the secondary,” Gebhardt said.
Teaching a child a fire safety plan is particularly important. You can encourage them to call the fire department from a neighbor’s home. Make sure everyone knows how to dial 911, second story rooms should have a chain ladder to get out and establish a meeting place for everyone outside of the home.
“If you have a central meeting place in the front yard when the crews show up on the fire scene, they know, you can tell them everyone’s out of the house. We’re all here and accounted for,” Gebhardt said.
To make your own fire escape plan, visit the NFPA’s website.