News | Oct. 10, 2017

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8 – 14: Every second counts, plan 2 ways out

By Evron Brightly, fire inspector, DLA Installation Support at Richmond DLA Aviation public affairs

As you probably noticed when you came through the East Gate on Oct. 8, you were greeted not only by our dedicated police officers but also by our Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Richmond Fire and Emergency Services personnel and Sparky, the fire dog.

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8 – 14 and to kick it off, our Fire and Emergency Services personnel handed out a pamphlet on smoke alarm safety as a reminder to help keep employees safe at work and at home.

This article contains information released by the National Fire Protection Association’s webpage with public education on smoke alarms.

You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds: Do you know what to do?

Oct. 8, 2017 -- Consider this scenario: It’s two o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety or even prove deadly.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. 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.

“Practicing your home escape plan until it is second nature is vital to the success of it,” said Daryl Page, fire inspector, Fire and Emergency Services, DLA Installation Support at Richmond. “Pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. DLA Installation Support at Richmond Fire and Emergency Services personnel are working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association, the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages.

“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

In support of Fire Prevention Week, Fire and Emergency Services in Richmond personnel encourages all Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, employees to develop a household plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and 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.

NFPA and DLA Installation Support at Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

•  Draw a map of your home with all members of your 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, 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.

•  Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

•  Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

•  Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week activities at DSCR, contact your Fire Prevention Office at 804-279-6782. To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.