Every second counts. Plan two ways out! That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, in which families are reminded that you may only have one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. 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.
The Mifflin Township Division of Fire will kick off this year’s Fire Prevention Week with the spectacular MedFlight One, fire rescue demonstrations, a visit from fire mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog, activities for the kids, food trucks, among other festivities at the open house to be held Sunday, Oct. 8 from 12-3 p.m. at Fire Station 131, located at 475 Rocky Fork Blvd. in Gahanna.
Through educational, family-oriented activities, such as meet and greet with the township’s firefighters, displays of current emergency vehicles, and fire safety and CPR demonstrations, Gahanna residents can learn more about fire prevention and safety.
Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, Mifflin Township Division of Fire is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14, to remind local residents about the importance of knowing two ways out in a fire and having an escape plan for your household.
Knowing that the average fire can double in size every minute, using every minute wisely in a fire is critical. Additionally, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms so alarms are also critical to giving residents time to get out safely in a fire.
"In a fire, seconds count," said Mifflin Fire Chief Fred Kauser. "Roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire."
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
Gahanna and Mifflin Township residents should:
- 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. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice 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 for anything.
To learn more about smoke alarms and other fire safety tips, visit NFPA’s website at www.firepreventionweek.org.�€€
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Mifflin Township has a fire department that serves the city of Gahanna and unincorporated township areas. The division has four fire stations, and employs 74 full time firefighter/paramedics, six full or part-time fire prevention officers and 23 full or part-time dispatchers. Responding to more than 6,870 calls for emergency medical service and 1,558 fire related calls, the township responded to a total of 8,428 calls for assistance in 2014.
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Please note: The arrival and/or participation of MedFlight One in the Open House activities can be impacted by emergency runs, weather or both. Currently, MedFlight One is planned around 1 p.m.