American Red Cross: Practice an escape plan for Fire Prevention Week

Red Cross of Northwest Illinois wants homeowners to practice escape plans in the event of a home fire.


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Homeowners should practice escape plans and check smoke alarms during Fire Prevention Week.

DeKALB — The American Red Cross is urging citizens to participate in this year’s Fire Prevention Week, which takes place from Oct. 9 to Oct. 15, by practicing a two-minute home fire escape plan.

The threat of home fires rises with colder temperatures. According to a news release from Red Cross of Northwest Illinois, home fires make up roughly 60,000 of the disasters that the organization responds to each year in the U.S.

“Two minutes is the amount of time that fire experts say you may have to safely escape a home fire before it’s too late,” according to the news release.

For these reasons, the Red Cross wants everyone to plan and practice a two-minute escape plan. Every escape plan should include at least two ways to exit every room in the house and a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home where everyone knows to meet.

Along with an escape plan, people should check their smoke alarms as well. To see if smoke alarms need to be replaced, check the manufacturer’s date. If it is 10 years or older, it most likely needs to be replaced because batteries and other components may not function efficiently. The Red Cross offers help installing and purchasing smoke alarms for those who can’t afford it, according to the news release.

For help with smoke alarm installation visit the Red Cross support page or call 800-733-2767.