Consider this scenario: It’s 2 a.m. You and your family are fast asleep. You are awoken by your smoke alarm and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes from the time the smoke alarm sounds to escape safely. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
This week is Fire Prevention Week, and the theme is: Every second counts. Plan two ways out. The Resort Municipality of Whistler Fire Rescue Service is working in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages.
Families are invited to activities for Fire Prevention Week:
Information booths to promote fire safety and home escape planning
- Tuesday, October 10, Creekside Market, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 11, Nesters Market, 6 to 8 p.m.
- Whistler Your Independent Grocer, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Creekside Market, 6 to 9 p.m.
- Saturday October 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fire Hall 1, 4400 Village Gate Boulevard
- Featuring a barbecue, Life Safety House, fun kids’ activities and demonstrations
- Sunday October 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fire Hall 3, 1505 Spring Creek Drive
- Featuring a barbecue, Life Safety House, fun kids’ activities, and an auto extrication demonstration at 1 p.m
Home escape plan tips
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Municipal Fire Chief Geoff Playfair encourages all Whistler households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes:
- Working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas;
- Two ways out of every room—usually a door and a window—with a clear path outside; and
- An outside meeting place like a tree, light pole, or mailbox that’s a safe distance from the home.
RMOW’s Fire Rescue Service and the NFPA offer these additional tips for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Practice once at night and once during the daytime with everyone in your home using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave—this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.