Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one or two minutes from the time the smoke alarm sounds to safely escape. Knowing how to best use that time takes practice, according to firefighters in all three Downbeach communities.
Fire departments have teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association to promote this year’s message, “Look, Listen, Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”
“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” Lt. Joe Iannuzzelli of the Ventnor Fire Department said. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference escape planning and practice can make and motivating them into action.”
Iannuzzelli advised residents to look for places a fire could start, listen for the sound of the smoke alarm and learn two ways out of every room.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” he said. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
NFPA statistics show the number of home fires is declining, but the death rate was 10 percent higher in 2016 than 1980.
The Ventnor, Margate and Longport fire departments will be hosting events this week in the schools and community to educate people about how to protect themselves in a fire.
For more information, see firepreventionweek.org.