national fire prevention weekOfficials say prepare and have two ways out

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Fire Marshall Henry Stryker III reminds residents that in the event of a fire at home, school or work, that every second counts.

“You and your family must always be prepared,” Stryker said. “An escape plan can help you get to safety quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire.”

It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

Prepare and practice your fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities. It is also a good idea to practice your plan with overnight guests.

Some tips to consider when preparing your escape plan include:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Identify two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead to the outside open easily.
  • Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Have a plan for everyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime.

Stryker also recommends that family members have a designated meeting place in their neighborhood.

“Find a place to meet your family – a neighbor’s yard or front porch is ideal,” Stryker said. “And once you are out; stay out. Do not return to a dangerous situation.”

“No matter what time of day or night that that alarm goes off, Monmouth County has a dedicated corps of firefighters prepared and on call should the need arise,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the CountyFireAcademy. “Most of our local firefighters are well-trained and ready for duty because they received their training at the CountyFireAcademy.”

“You can assist your local firefighters by preparing an escape plan for your home and office,” Curley added. “The time you take to make a plan now, will be invaluable in the event of a fire or other disaster.”