Fire prevention focus of next week

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Emergency workers in northwest Florida are preparing to observe National Fire Prevention Week Sunday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 15.

In an area where Atmore emergency personnel often act as back up units for fires, car accidents and other incidents, an awareness period devoted to somewhat-typical events could spawn advantages for both Escambia County, Fla. and its Alabama counterpart.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, a fire in a home breaks out every 82 seconds.

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This year, the American Red Cross will be assisting families and businesses assess their specific amount of risk, and  helping them learn how to better protect themselves from fires.

Last year alone, the American Red Cross responded to 63,000 home fires nationwide.

American Red Cross CEO Jerry Kindle said guarding against home fires is easily achieved.

“Taking simple steps like installing smoke detectors and developing and practicing a fire escape plan can make a critical difference in saving lives, homes and workplaces,” Kindle said.

Kindle added everyone should plan and practice a fire safety plan.

“Everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm,” he said.

Fire and prevention methods courtesy of the American Red Cross and the National Fire Prevention Agency include:

* Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.

* Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.

* Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.

For more information visit