NEWS | Oct. 3, 2012

Have 2 ways out

By Tech Sgt. Kenneth Shockley 628th Civil Engineer Fire Department

In 1871, the great Chicago fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,400 structures while burning more than 2,000 acres in the city. To commemorate this event, National Fire Prevention Week was established. This year, National Fire Prevention Week runs Oct. 7 through 13.

The theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week is "Have 2 Ways Out!" When fire strikes, your home or business can be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes. It is important to have a fire escape plan that prepares your family and coworkers to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke or fire alarm sounds. And if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames, the key to survival may be your back-up escape route.

Here are some important safety tips for you and your family:

Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in the home.

Know at least two ways out of every room if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.

Have an outside meeting place ... a tree, light pole or mailbox at least 75 feet away from the structure where everyone should meet.

Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home at least twice a year.

Practice using different ways out of the building.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can't help them.

Close doors behind you as you leave.

Once out, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building for people or pets.

Get low and go if you have to escape through smoke.

Call the fire department from outside your home.

Here is a list of events on Joint Base Charleston during Fire Prevention Week:

Fire Prevention Parade: There will be a parade Oct. 9 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. starting at the Auto Port/Library parking lot on JB Charleston - Weapons Station. The parade route travels through base housing. From 3 to 6 p.m. there will be a static display at the Auto Port/Library.

Fire Prevention Display: There will be a display Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Navy Exchange parking lot. Sparky the Fire Dog, a Jump Castle, a fire truck display and a Smoke House will be available.

Fire Prevention Display: There will be a display Oct. 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Air Base Exchange parking lot. Sparky the Fire Dog, a Jump Castle, a fire truck display and a Smoke House will be available.

Throughout the week there will also be various base facility fire drills, fire station tours and off-base participation in local fire departments' parades and displays.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, contact the Fire Prevention office on JB Charleston - Air Base at 963-3121 or the JB Charleston - Weapons Station at 764-7889.

Enjoy this year's Fire Prevention Week and remember to always be fire safe.