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It's Fire Prevention Week

Photo: Seattle Fire

When there's a fire, every second counts – so you need to know two ways out.

If the alarm goes off and you can't get out of your bedroom through the doorway, what would you do?

In most cases, the second way out is a window. If it's an upper floor window, do you have an escape ladder? You should.

"They can be picked up at any home improvement store and they do sell them for both second and third story windows,” said Captain Kyle Ohashi with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

Ohashi says parents need to determine if their kids are capable of opening the window, knocking out the screen, and going down that escape ladder safely. If not, and they can’t get out through the doorway, they need to be taught to close the door and wait for help to arrive.

Closing the door will keep the smoke and heat out of the room for awhile – those are the big killers in most fires – and giving firefighters time to get there.

An escape plan is great, but you need to practice it. That means fire drills – with the entire family taking part – several times a year.

"Show your kids exactly what you need them to do,” Ohashi said. “They should know to crawl low, so that they're below the smoke levels. And they need to know where to meet.”

You should have a pre-determined meeting spot on your side of the street, somewhere away from the house, so that everybody can meet there. When the fire department arrives, you’ll know if everyone is out of the home safely or if they need to get inside to rescue someone.

More Info on Fire Prevention Week, including a home escape plan grid.

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