Officials discuss tips for preventing, surviving fires

Officials discuss tips for preventing, surviving fires

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Every day in the United States, seven people lose their lives in a house fire.

Just last week, the West Central Georgia Red Cross helped five families displaced by house fires in Columbus.

October is Fire Prevention Month, and the Red Cross is doing their part to ensure families can be prepared and increase their chances of surviving if their house does indeed catch on fire.  

"One of the biggest things that we like to do in order to save lives is to install smoke alarms," said Adelaide Kirk, Executive Director of the Red Cross office in Columbus. "It is the simplest thing that anyone can do to increase their risk of escaping a house fire. it actually decreases the chance of death by house fire by 50 percent by having a working smoke alarm in the house."

Throughout the month the Red Cross will be installing these life saving units absolutely free, something that Kirk says is incredibly important.

"Because so many homes either don't have them, don't have them working or don't have enough," Kirk said. "So the rule of thumb is you should have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, also in every sleeping area."

Outside of ensuring that you have working smoke alarms, the next most important is discussing escape plans with your family. You should have two ways out of every room in your home in case of a fire.

"And by that most people believe they have a lot more time to get out of the house than they really do," Kirk said. "Experts agree that it is less than two minutes. So you need to practice and make sure that when the fire alarm goes off, everyone in your family can get out in two minutes." 

If you would like to take the Red Cross up on their offer, you can call them (706) 323-5614 or simply swing by their office at 3940 Rosemont Drive in Columbus and schedule a time to have them installed. 

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