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Fire Officials Urge Residents to Plan Exit Routes in Case of Emergency

The Los Angeles County Fire Department offers tips to the community as part of Fire Prevention Week.

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Los Angeles County Fire Department urged people to maintain two routes of exit from their home in case of an emergency.

"According to the National Fire Protection Association, one-third of American households believed they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening," said county fire Capt. Tom Richards. "But the time available is often less."

The county fire department is teaming with the NFPA to educate people during Fire Prevention Week, which runs through Saturday.

"This year's 'Be Rabbit Ready' theme focuses on what rabbits can teach people about the importance of fire escape planning and practice," Richards said. "Rabbits build their burrows with two ways out, so they'll always be able to escape if they sense danger."

In Los Angeles County, 2,149 fires last year resulted in nearly $134 million in property losses.

"Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize," said Los Angeles County fire Chief Daryl Osby. "Having an escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family's safety should fire break out in your home."

Home Safety Tips in Times of Emergency

The following safety tips are recommended:

  • Map your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
  • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they have 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 sound the smoke alarm, and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
  • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator, and practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

More information is available at http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/fireprevention/pdfs/prevention_brochure.pdf.

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