Jennifer McLaughlin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
When a fire starts in your home, there is little time to get out safely. An escape plan is critical to keeping you and your loved ones safe.
That’s why this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) oversees Fire Prevention Week.
NFPA is a global self-funded non-profit organization, established in 1896, “devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards.”
When the NFPA started Fire Prevention Week in 1922, wood furnishings and solid materials used for construction burned slower than the plastics, synthetics, and other lightweight products used today. Occupants had time to escape if alerted to smoke or fire.
Research shows that there are now as little as two minutes to get out of a burning building before it’s too late. Therefore, everyone in the home – including guests – must be familiar with and practice an escape plan.
Markham Fire and Emergency Services offer a home escape plan template to help you design an effective plan for your family and includes a list of important reminders.
Having a home fire escape plan that meets the needs of everyone in your home is one key consideration. Some family members or guests, such as young children, older adults, people with disabilities, and pets, may need help getting outside safely.
“Practice your home escape plan, and make sure there are at least two ways to get out of your home,” adds Adam Grant, Chief of Markham Fire and Emergency Services.
Grant also reminds those living in high-rise buildings to become informed of fire escape plans for their building and to practice how they will get out if there is a fire.
Residents are encouraged to visit one of the following “doors open” at local fire stations throughout the week, where firefighters and staff will be on-site to discuss fire safety and home escape plans and offer fire truck tours:
- Tues. Oct. 11 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Stations 98, 650 Bur Oak Avenue.
- Wed. Oct. 12 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Station 91, 7801 Bayview Avenue.
- Thurs. Oct. 13 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Station 96, 5567 14th Avenue.
- Sat. Oct. 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Station 99, 3255 Bur Oak Avenue.
Visit Fire Safety & Emergency Preparedness (markham.ca) or call 905-415-7521 for information.
Photo: “Practice your home escape plan, and make sure there are at least two ways to get out of your home,” reminds Adam Grant, Chief of Markham Fire and Emergency Services.