ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — This week marks the 100th anniversary of fire prevention week, and the National Fire Protection Association says that this year’s campaign tackles things you can do now to keep you and your family safe from home fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, you may have as little as two minutes or less to safely escape a home fire from the moment the smoke alarm goes off. It is important to plan and practice a home fire escape, so you know what to do when you first hear the alarm.
Additionally, you want to make sure you have an escape route. Officials say you should choose an outside meeting place for your family and make sure you practice your home fire drill twice a year. Also, make sure you are checking your fire alarms.
Rebecca Smith, Fire Marshall with Roanoke Fire-EMS says if a fire breaks out and you are in a crisis, try to stay calm, get out, and call 9-1-1.
“For kids, don’t play with matches, don’t play with lighters. Folks who smoke, try to remember to put your cigarettes out. Don’t fall asleep. If you’re sleepy, don’t sit there and smoke because sometimes you may fall asleep, and cigarettes may start the fire. If you’re cooking, make sure you don’t leave the pots and pans unattended on the stove. Just all-around safety — just to protect you and your loved ones,” said Smith.
The Fire Marshall says you can never be too cautious ahead of time because fire causes a lot of destruction and can hurt your family. She adds that fire prevention does not only have to be in the month of October it is year-round.
“It just happens to be the month that highlights it, but technically fire prevention is year-round. Even if we go out on community events, we still talk about fire prevention, so it’s really a — it’s a yearlong process. It’s not just one month,” said Smith.
All month-long Roanoke Fire-EMS is having a smoke alarm exchange. Roanoke City residents can call the Roanoke Fire-EMS office and they will come out and exchange your smoke detector for a new one if yours is ten years or older. Residents will also get a gift card.