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For Immediate Release

Contact:
James Palisi
Redwood City Fire Marshal
(650) 780-7457

Next Week - October 7 through 13 - is National Fire Prevention Week Redwood City Fire Department Urges Residents: "Have Two Ways Out!"

If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of American households who answered thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the reality is that the time available is often less.

That's why the Redwood City Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 - 13, 2012, to urge residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" in the event of a home fire. That's the Fire Prevention Week theme this year, and it focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice - a critical element of emergency preparedness.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to almost 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused over 13,000 civilian injuries, nearly 3,000 civilian deaths, and almost $7 billion in direct damage. "One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010, nationwide," says Jim Palisi, Fire Marshal of the Redwood City Fire Department. "Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried-and-true escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family's safety should fire break out in your home."

The Redwood City Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family's escape:

  • Make a map of your home. For every room, mark a door and a window that can be used to get out.
  • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they've escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
  • Have an adult family member sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with every person living in your home.
  • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and have your family practice the plan twice a year or, to make it easy to remember, practice it whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
  • Daylight Savings Time ends November 4 - when you change your clocks, change your batteries in all the smoke detectors in your home.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and this year's theme "Have Two Ways Out!" visit NFPA's Web site at www.nfpa.org. Visit the Fire Department's web page at www.redwoodcity.org/fire for information on fire services, fire prevention, and disaster preparation, including information on a free two-hour Are You Ready? disaster preparedness presentation for your group of 20 or more.

The Redwood City Fire Department Mission Statement is: To protect life, property, and the environment from fire, medical, disaster, and hazardous materials related incidents through emergency mitigation, public education and code enforcement.

Visit Redwood City's award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org or information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City's email newsletter and other City documents by visiting www.redwoodcity.org/egov.

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