“Every second counts, know two ways out” was the theme of Fire Prevention Week 2017.

It’s not enough to have a home fire escape plan. To escape safely, you’ve got to make sure that everyone in the home has practiced the plan. According to a National Fire Protection Association poll, the majority of Americans have a fire escape plan, but most haven’t practiced it.

From Oct. 8-14, fire safety advocates spread the word that when it comes to escape plans, practice is the key. In a fire you may have as little as two minutes to escape; however, a recent poll showed three-quarters of Americans think they have less than 10 minutes before a fire can turn deadly. Twenty-three percent of households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan to ensure they could escape quickly and safely. An escape plan should include two ways out of every room, working smoke alarms, an outside meeting place and practice.

The Fire Departments of Monroe County spread the message to all elementary school students last week in the hope that all families will develop and practice their fire escape plan. I also strongly encourage the senior citizens in the community to practice their primary and secondary escape routes.

The city of Tomah has not seen a fire-related fatality since 1982, and we hope that this trend will continue for many years. Fire prevention should not be observed just for one week a year but should be practiced year round. Please take some time this week to sit down with your family to discuss your escape plan:

  • Primary and secondary routes.
  • Ensure your smoke detectors are in working condition.
  • An outside meeting place and practice this plan at least twice a year.

Fire does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone − young, old, rich, poor. Let’s keep a proud tradition of a fire safe community.

Tim Adler,

Fire chief,

Tomah Fire Department

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Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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