National Fire Prevention Week: Plan Your Escape

By Mark Askelon markkrjb@loretel.net (10/7/19)

Beltrami, MN -- In a typical home fire, you may have as little as two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why the theme for this year’s National Fire Prevention Week is “Not all heroes wear capes, know your escape.” Beltrami Fire Chief Daniel Netland says escape planning and practicing can help you make the most of the time you have.

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Netland notes that for some of the younger kids who are more likely to forget the escape plan or freeze up, there are smoke detectors that can actually provide instructions when activated.

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The average response rate for most rural volunteer fire departments is 5-10 minutes, so sometimes your best line of defense against a fire is to try and knock it out with a fire extinguisher if its possible to do so. Hillsboro Fire Chief Jamie Reed says having a couple of extinguishers in key areas is both effective and affordable.

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According to the National Fire Prevention Association, if the smoke alarm goes off, get out and stay out. Never go back in for people or pets. If you have to escape through smoke, stay low and keep moving. And call the fire department once you’ve gotten out safely.