Fire Prevention Week: "Have Two Ways Out!"
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Imagine waking up coughing, eyes burning and feeling extremely hot. You open your eyes and see an orange glow coming from outside your room. You become blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around. The only sounds you hear are your smoke alarm blaring and the crackle of fire.
How much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association, one-third of American households thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less. Only eight percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
The Misawa Air Base Fire Department is hosting Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, 2012. The department urges residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" This year's theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 484,500 structure fires. These fires caused
15,635 civilian fire injuries, 2,640 civilian fire deaths, and $9.7 billion in property damage.
"One structure fire was reported every 65 seconds in 2011," according to the NFPA.
Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having practiced and proved your escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family's safety should a fire occur in your home.
Misawa's Fire Department recommends 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 that is a safe distance from your home. This is where everyone can meet once they've escaped. Draw a picture of your meeting place on your escape plan.
- Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan
- Cell Phone 0176-53-1911 or house phone 911
- Off base 119
- Sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
The Misawa Fire Department will be hosting activities at The Exchange during 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.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities at Misawa Air Base, please contact the Misawa Fire Department at 226-3218 or 226-4055. To learn more about "Have Two Ways Out!" visit NFPA's Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.