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Planning, preparation key to fire safety

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- When fire strikes in arid conditions, a home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes, possibly trapping whoever or whatever might be inside.

That is why the Peterson fire department is going to be out in full force during the Annual Fire Prevention Week Oct. 6 -13 teaming up with the National Fire Prevention Association for this year's theme "Have 2 Ways Out!"

The events of the week will kick-off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Peterson Exchange. Attractions at the event will include: a fire safety trailer, which simulates thunder, lightning and smoke; a life-size fire truck bounce house; fire extinguisher training; Sparky the Fire Dog, his friends Freddie the Fire Truck and Pluggie, and other activities.

Throughout the rest of the week, the "Have 2 Ways Out!" campaign will visit several elementary schools in the local area to focus on how fire escape planning and practice can prepare a family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds.

Their schedule includes:

Oct. 8 -Fire Safety Trailer Demo at Evans Elementary
Oct. 9 -Fire Safety Trailer Demo at Stetson Elementary
Oct. 10 -Fire Safety Trailer Demo at Falcon Elementary
Oct. 11 -Fire Safety Trailer Demo at Springs Ranch Elementary
Oct. 12 -Fire Safety Trailer Demo at Rush Elementary

According to Burke Ferrin, 21st CES assistant fire-prevention officer, if you are unable to attend the kick-off bash at the Exchange, following a checklist (see sidebar) could help save a family in an unforeseen fire.

For more information about fire prevention contact the 21st Fire Emergency Services at 556-6574.

To get started, download How to Make a Fire Escape Plan at www.nfpa.org/homeescape, or simply make a map on a piece of paper. Then, use this checklist to make sure your escape plan includes all the elements needed to ensure your household's safety from fire.
_ I have made a map of our home indicating all windows and doors that can be used to get outside if the smoke alarm sounds.
_ All members of my household have walked through the home with me to identify two ways out of each room.
_ The home fire escape plan includes two ways out of every room in the home (usually a door and a window).
_ All ways out of each room and the home are clear, free of clutter and can be opened easily.
_ Security bars on doors and windows have a quick-release device so they can be used to get outside in case of a fire.
_ There is a meeting place (a tree, neighbor's home, street light) outside in front of our home where everyone knows to meet upon exiting.
_ Our house number can be clearly seen from the street.
_ Our plan includes the local emergency telephone number (or 9-1-1) to be contacted immediately upon leaving the home.
_ There are working smoke alarms in all required locations throughout our home; there's at least one on every level of the home (including the basement), inside all bedrooms and outside each sleeping area.
_ We all know what the smoke alarm sounds like, and what to do when we hear it.
_ We have practiced our home fire escape drill, and will continue to do so at least twice a year.
_ Everyone in our home knows how to get low and go under smoke, in case we need to escape through smoke.
_ We all know if the smoke alarm sounds, get outside of the home and stay outside, and understand that we should alert the fire department to any people or pets trapped inside.

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