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Fire officials: Plan escape routes during Fire Prevention Week

— Fire Prevention Week is this week in Washington, with officials touting the theme “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out!”

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is joining with agencies, safety advocates and the National Fire Protection Association for the week, Oct. 8-14. The goal is to educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it.

Such a plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place such as a tree, light pole or mailbox that is a safe distance from the home.

The association and the Fire Marshal’s Office offer some additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

-Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room 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 address numbers of your home are clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

-Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

-Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

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