When fire breaks out, it's too late to plan.
During National Fire Prevention Week, firefighters want to make sure people "Have two ways out" of their homes.
"If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get out safely?" City of Warren Fire Department Operations and Training Officer Joe Beardsley said.
National Fire Protection Association polling shows one-third of Americans believe they would have at least six minutes. "Unfortunately, the time available is often less," Beardsley said. "This year's Fire Prevention Week theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice."
Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than people realize, he said. Being familiar with escape routes and practicing them increases the chances that families will escape burning homes safely.
"The Warren Fire Department recommends all residences install smoke detectors, have escape plans with two exits out of every room, and periodic safety inspections of your home," Beardsley said. "Involve the entire family and practice fire prevention throughout the whole year."
City police and fire conduct safety inspections for those who schedule them. "The joint Safety Evaluation Program has been developed by the Warren Fire and Police Services," Beardsley said. "This program provides an evaluation of fire safety and prevention as well as security aspects, based on a comprehensive home safety checklist. You may call the city offices at 723-6300 to arrange a home safety evaluation."
The department offered these additional tips:
"install smoke detectors and check them monthly;
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 outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they have escaped. Mark your outside meeting place on your escape plan;
sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home;
keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remember to have your family practice the plan twice a year."
The Warren Fire Department welcomes visitors. "Feel welcome to stop by the Warren Fire Department to see the station and equipment and look at our education material," Beardsley said. "The Warren Fire Department will be visiting schools and daycares in Warren during the month of October to discuss fire prevention with your children, so take time and review the materials they bring home. Do a home safety inspection, install smoke detectors and test them. Make a fire escape plan and have a fire drill with your children."