According to the Colorado Division of Fire Safety, there were a reported 3,776 structure fires in the state in 2009, along with 25 civilian deaths. Is your family prepared for such a disaster?
A 2011 Liberty Mutual Insurance fire safety study found that most families are ill-prepared in the event of a home fire. In fact, only 28% of families have ever practiced a home fire drill.
The Liberty Mutual survey found:
- Nearly 40 percent of parents have never discussed or created a fire escape plan with their children
- Only 28 percent of parents with children under the age of 12 say their kids have ever had a fire drill at home
- 61 percent of parents who haven’t developed a family escape plan say it simply hasn’t occurred to them to do so
- 88 percent say their kids have had an in-school fire drill, but escaping from a classroom in orderly, single-file fashion is far different from when an alarm goes off in your home, possibly in the middle of the night
To help Denver families address the need to better prepare for safe escape in the event of a home fire Liberty Mutual Insurance is again presenting “National Family Fire Drill Day” on October 1, 2011, in advance of the upcoming Fire Prevention Week (October 9-15).
“We encourage parents to set aside time to proactively discuss the reality of home fires with their children, as it’s critical that every member of a family knows what do in the event of a fire,” said Shane Christley, an auto and home insurance sales representative with Liberty Mutual’s Highland Ranch office. “The inevitable use of candles, ovens and space heaters to ward off the increasing Rocky Mountain cold make it all the more important to have a fire escape plan in place should a disaster occur, and National Family Fire Drill Day is the perfect backdrop to teach about fire safety in the home.”
The one-stop, online fire safety destination BeFireSmart.com has detailed tools to help parents create a fire plan specific to their home. The site also includes a host of valuable tips to help eliminate fire hazards in the home, as well as a children’s section with fast, fun interactive games and a downloadable coloring book (preview now) and story that teaches children the important lesson of never hiding from a firefighter during a fire.
BeFireSmart.com offers these tips for crafting a fire escape plan:
- Assemble your family and draw out your floor plan to create a fire escape plan, pointing out all possible exits and marking the location of each smoke alarm
- Once you have laid out your plan and the whole family understands where to exit, check that all escape routes are clear and that doors and windows are easily opened
- Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped, and then call the fire department
- Assign a family member to assist young children, and elderly or disabled family members should an emergency strike
- Never go back into a burning building; instead, rely on firefighters who have specialized training and equipment
- Practice the escape plan as a family during the day and night to make the drill as realistic as possible
- Make sure that smoke alarms are installed on each level of the home and in every sleeping room
- Store escape ladders upstairs for those homes with multiple levels
- Practice closing doors on your way out when holding a family fire drill, as this slows the spread of fire
A Pledge to Fire Safety Could Earn Your Fire Department $10,000
A commitment to home fire safety also can be a great reward to Denver-area fire departments. Liberty Mutual again is presenting the Be Fire Smart Fire Safety Pledge Program, which awards ten $10,000 grants to the fire departments in communities that have the most residents complete the Fire Safety Pledge Quiz at BeFireSmart.com now through October 31, 2011.
Last fall, tens of thousands of Americans took the online Be Fire Smart Fire Safety Pledge. Fire departments from College Park, Md.; Hutto, Texas; Merrimac, Mass.; Midwest City, Okla.; Mooresville, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Tittabawassee Township, Mich.; Whitman, Mass.; and Wilmington, Mass., each earned $10,000 from Liberty Mutual Insurance toward their local fire prevention initiatives.
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