Fire prevention week activities set for the city
Posted: October 12, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — One way out is not enough.
That’s the message fire officials across the nation have communicated this week for Fire Prevention Week. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) designed “Have Two Ways Out” as the theme for this year’s events.
“The NFPA’s message is designed to increase awareness and encourage families to have an escape plan in the event of a fire, practice it, and have meeting place outside where they can gather and account for one another,” said Jeremy Luttrell, Winchester’s fire marshal. “The bottom line is you need to have two ways out of just about any room in your home.”
He added that it helps firefighters if someone from the home is waiting for them to let them know if everyone is out or if someone might still be inside when trucks arrive at a fire scene.
To cap Fire Prevention Week, the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department will hold a public open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Shawnee Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. The event will feature demonstrations and tours, and fire officials will be available to answer questions about fire safety and prevention.
Activities will include everything from using graph paper to map home escape routes to learning to spray a fire hose.
According to the NFPA, fires killed an average of 2,590 people from 2006 to 2010 and caused $7.2 billion in property damage annually. The death toll might not have been as high, however, if more people had prepared for a possible fire.
It’s especially important for people to be prepared to evacuate bedrooms in the event of a fire, Luttrell said. Windows typically are the alternate way out of a burning home if the primary route is blocked.
For second-story rooms, Luttrell said it’s a good idea to have an escape ladder that can be used to climb to safety.
“That’s something you want to practice,” he said of using the escape ladder. “You need to know how to use it so you don’t get frantic and hurt yourself even worse.”
Winchester fire personnel spoke with students at city elementary schools four days this week, informing them about fire prevention and showing them firetrucks.
They’ve also met with residents of a senior-living home to discuss fire safety and will continue such meetings throughout the month.
Luttrell said the department is open to meeting with any person or group interested in discussing fire safety.
— Contact Vic Bradshaw at email@example.com