IDHS observing Fire Prevention Week

GREENSBURG — While Greensburg celebrated their fire prevention week a week early so they could give local students the opportunity to participate before fall break, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reminding Hoosiers to keep safety in mind this week.

The Greensburg Fire Department visited local schools last week to educate them on fire safety and awareness, awarded the Optimist Club Firefighter of the Year Award to co-recipients Randy and Marilyn Hoeing, and hosted their annual chili supper to interact with citizens.

GFD Assistant Chief Brian Wenning reiterated that this is the perfect time of year to keep fire safety in mind.

“It seems like maybe some of these things you don’t think about during the year,” Wenning said. “This is that one time of year where it’s good to keep these things in mind.”

In observance of the week, the IDHS says the goal is to provide individuals an opportunity to learn and share fire safety information. With their theme this year, “Not every hero wears a cape, plan and practice your escape!,” they are emphasizing the significance of escaping your home quickly in an emergency situation.

“Hoosiers need to be proactive about learning, practicing and sharing fire safety information with their family, friends and coworkers,” incoming State Fire Marshal Steve Cox said. “Taking a few minutes to discuss a fire escape plan, staying aware of your surroundings or even just asking if someone has working smoke alarms in their home can make the entire community safer.”

According to the IDHS, on average, after a smoke alarm beeps, those within a household have a maximum of two minutes to safely escape their home.

The department recommends creating a map of the home’s layout, including two potential exits for every room. They also recommend practicing escaping within that two minute period.

With practice, IDHS information says this will locate any barriers, blocked walkways, barred windows, or anything else that can negatively impact escape time.

This week also marks a good time to test smoke alarms.

Citizens who need working smoke alarms can find information on how to request 10 year non-tamper photoelectric smoke alarms or alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing at GetAlarmed.in.gov.

In the event of a real fire, these tips from the IDHS can help save a life:

If a fire occurs, keep the following safety tips in mind when evacuating.

• If needed and is possible, help individuals with limited mobility evacuate the property.

• Close doors to keep the fire from spreading.

• If smoke, heat or flames block both established escape routes, stay in the room and call the fire department.

• If all escape routes are blocked, open the room’s window and use a bright colored object or flashlight to signal the location.

• Do not spend time to try saving personal property – home fires progress quickly.

• Never go back into a fire to save people or pets, instead, prepare to alert the fire department about individuals still inside.

For more fire safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov. To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, visit nfpa.org.

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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