KAMLOOPS — Every second counts.
That's the message Kamloops Fire Rescue is spreading during Fire Prevention Week.
"They say you have as little as two minutes to get out of a house fire," said Life Safety Educator Lyle Weninger. "You don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and try to think of what you're going to do if there's a fire, you want to know exactly what you're going to do, and react quickly."
KFR has delivered 5,200 pamphlets to elementary students across the city, encouraging families to create a fire escape plan for their homes, complete with two ways out of every room.
"What you want to do is you want to come up with a plan, and draw it out with your family," Weninger said. "You want to practice it twice a year, you want to pick a meeting place outside, so like a tree or something that's not going to move. Don't pick a car, or the trash cans or something like that. You want to pick something that's not going to move, and practice that twice a year."
Weninger says having a plan is only effective if you have a working smoke alarm to alert you to a fire.
"Smoke alarms after first flame will typically go off about 30 seconds in your house," he said, "and that gives you a minute and 30 to get out of your house. The smoke alarms are your first alert to wake you up in the middle of the night so you can activate your fire escape plan."
Weninger recommends testing smoke alarms monthly, and changing the batteries twice a year in battery operated alarms.
The entire unit should be replaced every ten years.
"Smoke won't wake you up, the noise will," That's why the smoke alarm is so important. Some people have woken up to the sound of fire, but you don't want to count on that to wake you up. You want that smoke alarm to be that initial, fast, first alert."
Kamloops Fire Rescue personnel will visit homes and businesses around the city throughout the week to teach people how to make a fire safety plan.
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