Each year approximately 80% of all fire fatalities are the direct result of residential structure fires. The large number of fatalities in our country is the reason Fire-Rescue Departments are alerting citizenís to develop fire escape plans and practice fire drills in their home. Of these fire deaths, most are from smoke inhalation. Smoke or poisonous gases inhaled by someone sleeping can cause the person to become unconscious or pass out before they can escape. Super heated smoke and gases can also cause lung damage, obscure light, and totally block normal exit routes in your home. This is the reason to plan and practice fire drills, two ways to escape from all rooms of your home.
Planning For Fire Emergencies
The development and implementation of an escape plan for your home is one of the smartest steps taken to reduce the risk from fire:
- Develop a step-by-step fire exit plan with everyone who lives or stays in your home. This plan should include doors, windows, escape ladders, if needed, or anything that can be beneficial in emergency escape such as porch roof or balcony that could be utilized for escape.
- Plan and practice two ways to exit each room. Check to be certain that doors and windows are in working order; they unlock easily and are not obstructed or jammed.
- Establish a safe meeting area outside in front of the residence where everyone knows to meet after exiting the home.
- Install house numbers of size and color that are clearly visible from the street
- All family members should memorize the emergency phone number 9-1-1 and always call for assistance after leaving the residence.
- If possible, locate someone outside close to the street to flag down responders
- Practice your escape plan at least twice per year.
- Above all, do not ever return to a burning or smoke filled structure once you have escaped.
After a Fire
- Contact your insurance agent or carrier immediately for advice
- Secure the property before leaving the premises if possible
- Contact the Post Office (forward or Hold mail)
If you are in need of assistance to obtain emergency shelter, food, clothing, basic hygiene or medical items contact the Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross at (865) 983-0821.
For more information on Home Fire Safety email TDaffron@cityofalcoa-tn.gov or telephone (865) 981-4142