In our ongoing series for Fire Prevention week we will cover what the Look, Listen, and Learn topics are all about.
Look for places that fires can start. Take a few minutes and walk through your house to identify any areas that may be potential fire hazards. Areas that should be checked are:
- The laundry dryer
- Kitchen clutter around electrical appliances
- Loose outlets throughout the house
- Microwave clutter (keep the vents clear)
- Overloaded electrical outlets
- Check storage areas – paint thinners, gas cans, propane tanks for grills/camping
Listen for the sound of your smoke alarm. If a fire has started you may only have minutes to escape the house before you suffer from smoke inhalation. Remember to crawl on the floor to your designated escape area and get to your pre-designated meeting place outside.
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter. If you are on a second floor or higher make sure you have the ability to escape. There are many types of fire escape ladders for residential homes that are very cost effective. Also remember to teach your children that it is ok to break a window in order to escape from a fire. Many children will not break a window because they feel they may get into trouble.
The Jacksonville Fire Department has a very rapid response time to structure fires but please remember everything that has to happen prior to the firefighters being sent out.
- A fire has already started and the resident or neighbor has to identify it
- A call to 911 has to be made and then routed to the correct dispatcher
- The dispatcher has to get the address and send out an alert to the nearest fire station.
- The firefighter’s have to get to their vehicles and put on the correct gear to combat a structure fire.
- The fire fighters then need to drive from the station to your address
- The hoses and emergency apparatus must be unloaded and prepared to fight the fire.
The Jacksonville Fire Department will arrive within minutes of the dispatch but it is up to you to get to safety as quickly as possible. Every second counts in a building fire and getting out is the most important part. Possessions can be replaced, but a loved one can’t.
“Fire and smoke move faster than you. There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home AFTER a fire starts. Practice a home fire escape plan BEFORE there’s a fire so you can get out safely.” – Jacksonville Fire Department, Fire Marshal Lee Batey.