Protecting yourself and your home from a fire

Firefighters explain how to protect your family during National Fire Prevention Week

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 11:45pm

It's National Fire Prevention Week and firefighters across the country are asking you to be ready for a fire.

National Fire Prevention Week began as a way to remember the great Chicago fire that burned down a large part of the city. Now it's a way to raise awarness and to get entire families to help protect themselves from fires.

Eldon Ledoux with the St. George Fire Department says this year's theme is find two ways out of your home.

"Most fires are caused by human activity carelessness frankly," said Ledoux

Ledoux says firefighters are prepared to respond at a moment's notice, but sometimes the fires they fight could have been prevented if people paid more attention to their surroundings.

"About a third of all house fires start in the kitchen, and mostly it's from leaving an unattended pot on the stove," said Ledoux.

There are a few things families need do to make sure they are prepared for a fire. Come up with a family escape plan.

"It's a really good idea to practice this with your kids," said Ledoux. "Turn it in to a game. Have them identify two ways to safety from every room in your home. "

Add smoke detectors to every floor of a home especially around bedrooms.

"It wont prevent a fire, but it will buy your famiLy something that is so precious in an emergency and that is time," said Ledoux.

Ledoux says over 90 percent of homes across the country do have a smoke detector but only two thirds of them work. Many people forget to change the battery and the consequences can be costly

"The most devastating scenes that any of our guys have been on are ones where fatality is involved," said Ledoux.

Ledoux says if your home is on fire follow three steps. First get out your house. Then call 911. Finally, never go back inside a burning building.

"There have been too many instances of parents going back into a home to rescue a child, and it results in a double fatality," said Ledoux.

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