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PEC Fire and Rescue open houses to help residents plan their escape

Prince Edward County Fire & Rescue asks residents to remember ‘Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape’ – the theme of this year’s 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9 – 15.

PEC Fire Prevention Officer Greg Gorsline hopes residents will embrace the fire prevention week theme.

“It’s important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different,” said Gorsline. “Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them.”

Smoke alarms sense smoke well before people can. They need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement) of your home. Do not put smoke alarms in kitchens or bathrooms.

With changes to construction methods, today’s homes burn faster than ever. It can take minutes for a home to fill with thick black smoke and room temperatures can rise to 1,000F at eye level.

“You may have as little as two minutes or less to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning,” states Lorraine Carli, vice-president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA.

Here are some important home fire escape planning tips:
– Make sure your plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
– Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
– Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
– Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
– Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.

Prince Edward County Fire & Rescue is hosting open houses Saturday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. at all County fire stations:
Station 1 – 8 McDonald Drive, Picton
Station 2 – 126 County Road 32, Hallowell
Station 3 – 3080 County Road 10, Milford
Station 4 – 2771 County Road 5, Sophiasburgh
Station 5 – 219 County Road 3, Rossmore
Station 6 – 14 County Road 29, Consecon
Station 7 – 44 Belleville Street, Wellington
Station 8 – 3819 County Road 3, Carrying Place

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