It’s national fire prevention week.
And the Pocatello Fire Department is making sure to use this week to teach the community about being safe, and fire conscious, in their homes.
PFD teamed up with Domino’s to deliver pizza and brand new smoke alarms to homes.
Domino’s orders were selected at random. When those orders were delivered, the fire department checked the home’s smoke alarms. If they worked, the customer’s order was free. If they didn’t work, the fire department installed a new one free of charge.
But there’s more to fire prevention than just smoke alarms. It’s also important to know what to do, and how to get out, in the case of a house fire.
Kim Stouse, community education specialist for PFD, said recent studies show people could have as little as two minutes to get out of their homes during a fire.
This year’s fire prevention theme is “When seconds count, have two ways out.”
Its goal is to get families to have a well-developed and practiced plan to escape safely from a house fire.
Stouse said they recommend going into each and every room of your home and finding two ways out of that room. Typically, it’s a door and a window. But Stouse said it goes beyond just mentioning it once. The entire household should know exactly what to do.
“Just making sure you discuss that with your families and not assuming they know that’s what they’re supposed to do,” Stouse said. “The statistic is 71% of people have a home escape plan but less than half those have actually practiced it.”
“The more that we practice, we get almost muscle memory,” Stouse continued. “It’s just like why kids have fire drills at school so often. The more that we practice, the better we know it. So in the event of a fire, you’re going to respond how you’ve practiced. We want that same thing for families in their homes.”
Stouse said other precautions are to make sure you have working smoke alarms and you test them every month, as well as replace the batteries twice a year. Ideally, Stouse said it’s best to have an alarm in every bedroom and one in the hallway by those rooms, as well as one on each floor of the house.
Stouse said doing something like free pizza with Domino’s is a fun and rewarding way to encourage people to have working alarms, and if not, to get one in those homes in need.
“At the end of the day, people have all enjoyed it and their homes are safer because of it,” Stouse said.
“It not only gets us out in public and let’s them know that we actually care about things that go on in our community and the safety of all our community,” said Tracy Rouleau, Domino’s manager.
Other tips and recommendations from the fire department include:
-Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each rom and a path to the outside from each exit.
-Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
-Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
-Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
-Close doors behind you as you leave – this can slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
-Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Stouse said if you have any questions about smoke alarms, or need help getting one and getting it installed, call the Pocatello Fire Department at 208-234-6201.