Every second counts! Home escape planning is critical in a fire situation
KAHULUI – You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds; do you know what to do?
Consider this scenario: it’s 2 a.m. 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.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Jeffrey Murray, fire chief of the Maui Fire Department.
“That 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.
Maui Fire Department is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of 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, all Maui County households are encouraged to develop a 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 (such as a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
To help build awareness, Fire Prevention Week demonstrations will be held for the public and local elementary schools.
MFD will provide a fire safety presentation followed by a display of the tools and equipment the fire service uses. Firefighters will demonstrate how they rappel, cut up cars with the “Jaws of Life” and put out fires with a live fire demonstration. MFD’s Air-1 Helicopter, Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey Bear will also be making appearances.
There will be shows on Maui on Friday, Oct. 20, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lahaina Recreation Field mauka of the Lahaina Aquatics Center on Shaw Street, and Friday, Oct. 27, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the horseshoe pit in Keopuolani Park, Wailuku. For more information, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 876-4690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.