Fire Prevention Week: Every Second Counts

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- It’s Fire Prevention Week and that means it’s time to make sure all your smoke detectors are working and everyone in your family knows all the ways out of your home.

The theme for this years Fire Prevention Week is “Every second counts, plan two ways out.”

You could have less than two minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds.

So it’s very important to make sure everyone in your family, even the little ones, knows how to get out quickly.

Here are some things you can do this week to make sure your family is prepared:

  • Draw a map of your home.
  • Find two ways out of every room.
  • Make sure doors and windows are not blocked by furniture or other obstacles.
  • Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home.
  • Practice your home fire drill.

The Des Moines Fire Department is visiting with all ages from pre-schools to businesses to make sure they know what to do in the event of a fire.

Brian O'Keefe, the Public Information Officer with the Des Moines Fire Department, said it’s very important to start conversations about fire safety with children very early to ensure they know what to do in the event of a fire.

"We want people whether they’re at work, play, home, most likely fires do occur at night. But whenever that alarm goes off or someone reports a fire or there is smoke, we want them to have those two ways out. And due to new construction and fire development, fires are actually growing faster than they were in the old days, per say. So time is critical," O’Keefe said.

This is also a good time to check on the smoke detectors in your home.

"We really want you to make sure you have smoke detectors in the home. On every floor, in every bedroom so it's alerting you early and you can get out there when the smoke or fire is very small, it's still a haze, it's not developing and growing rapidly where that exit is no longer an option for you," O’Keefe said.

Battery powered smoke alarms that are 10 years or older should be replaced and if you’re not sure how old yours are, it’s a good idea to replace all of them with dual sensor smoke alarms.

If you need help finding the right ones, the Des Moines Fire Department can help.