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The time is now to plan, practice it - home fire escape

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Many single people and families follow a schedule or create a to-do list to keep things running smoothly. Planning and practicing a home fire escape should be at the top of everybody's list.

Everyone thinks tragedies like home fires happen in other communities and to other people. That's probably what the people affected by the 381,000 home fires that occurred in the United States in 2005 thought before it happened to them. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3,030 were killed in those fires - that's one person every three hours. 

As well as being prepared to escape a fire, it is equally important to be vigilant about preventing one from happening in the first place.

Many times, there is something that you can do so a fire doesn't start, like paying attention to what you are cooking, for example. Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and unattended cooking is the leading cause. The next time you have dinner on the stove, don't leave the room. 

If you and your neighbors, on base or off, have not taken the time to plan and practice your home fire escape plan, you are not alone. Nationally, studies show that only 23 percent of households have. This is something that can mean the difference between surviving a fire or being the victim of one.

Planning and practicing:
-- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and have one inside and outside of each sleeping area.
-- Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
-- Develop a fire escape plan that identifies two ways out of each room and a family meeting place outside.
-- Make sure your plan allows for any specific needs in your household. If everyone knows what to do, everyone can get out quickly.
-- Practice using the plan at least twice a year. If everyone knows that everyone else is ready to exit quickly, no one will lose precious time trying to help someone who doesn't need help.
-- Some children and adults may not awaken to the sound of the smoke alarm. They might need help waking up.

Click here to create your own home fire escape plan.

(Information taken from www.nfpa.org)