Queen Creek Fire and Medical Reminds Residents: Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years
The Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department (QCFMD) is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8 - 14, to urge residents to have a fire escape plan in place.
Consider this scenario: It’s two in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you wake up to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.
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. 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.
“During a house fire, seconds count, which is why having a plan is so vital,” stated QCFMD Chief Ron Knight. “The recent house fires in Queen Creek are a somber reminder of how important it is to practice fire prevention, have working smoke alarms, and have a plan in place.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, the QCFMD encourages all Queen Creek households to develop a plan together and practice it. 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.
NFPA and the QCFMD offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
- 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.
The Mayor and Council recently declared Oct. 8-14 Fire Prevention Awareness Week, and throughout the month of October, QCFMD will be visiting third graders in the community. Firefighters will work with the kids to teach them the importance of smoke alarms, general fire safety, pool safety, the importance of helmets and exit drills. QCFMD will also visit pre-schools to introduce children to firefighters.
To schedule a visit, call the Fire Administration Office at 480-358-3360. For more safety information, visit Firepreventionweek.org or Sparky.org. To stay updated on Town news and events, follow Facebook.com/QCFire and Twitter.com/TOQC_official.
Constance Halonen-Wilson, Public Information Officer