"Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere." That’s the message behind the 2018 Fire Prevention Week campaign. Gahanna and Mifflin Township families are reminded that you may only have 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 MedFlight One's medical air ambulance, fire rescue demonstrations, a visit from fire mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog, activities for the kids, bounce houses, among other festivities at the Open House to be held Sunday, Oct. 7 from 1-4 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, Oct. 7-13, to remind local residents about the importance of knowing two ways out in a fire and having an escape plan for your household.
Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
"In a fire, seconds count," said Mifflin Fire Chief Fred Kauser. "Although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice."
This year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:
- Look for places fire could start.
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
- Learn 2 ways out of every room.
While NFPA and the Mifflin Township Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Kauser. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately."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.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.# # #
The Mifflin Township Division of Fire serves approximately 36,800 residents in the city of Gahanna and 4,000 residents within the unincorporated township. The division operates from four strategically located fire stations, employing 79 full time firefighter/paramedics, 1 fire marshal, 5 fire prevention and inspection officers and 17 9-1-1 dispatchers. Mifflin Township firefighters responded to more than 12,400 calls for emergency medical services (EMS) and structure fires in 2017, making it one of the most active and progressive fire divisions in the area.
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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.