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Pause and ponder your fire preparedness during Indiana Fire Prevention Week

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Indiana's Fire Marshal encourages Hoosiers to take fire safety seriously by creating a household evacuation plan and resolving potential fire hazards as part of Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13.
This year's theme, "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware - fire can happen anywhere," reminds Hoosiers that following a few simple steps can reduce the chances of a fire and help everyone evacuate safely.
"In most situations, it doesn't take long to make safety changes in the home, but those quick fixes can have a lasting impact," said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson.
Tragically, Indiana is on track for an increase in the number of fire-related deaths over the calendar year. The state has already recorded 67 fire-related deaths to date. In 2017, 70 fire-related deaths occurred.
Marshal Greeson suggests looking for the following hazards in a home:
- Replace electric cords that are worn, frayed or covered with clothing, blankets or furniture.
- Clean dryer lint traps out after every use.
- Flammable items should not be closer than three feet from fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or portable heaters.
- When looking for potential fire hazards check on the household's smoke alarms, which provides an early warning sign of a fire.
"Smoke alarms are a vital component for fire safety," Greeson said. "Households with properly placed, working and maintained smoke alarms are 50 percent more likely to escape a fire safely."
- Alarms should be replaced every eight to 10 years. Over time their sensors become less sensitive.
- Smoke alarms should be tested every month to make sure they are still working.
- Alarms should be placed at least 10 feet from a stove, as everyday cooking may be a trigger.
- An established escape plan is an essential component of keeping the household safe. They help save time in a situation where seconds count and establish if individuals are trapped in the burning building.
Marshal Greeson recommends that Hoosiers sit down with their households and complete the following:
- Practice home fire drills twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with all residents.
- Practice using different routes to safety.
- If smoke, heat or flames block all established escape routes, stay in the room and call the fire department.
- Once outside, stay at the established meeting point. Never go back inside a burning building.
For more information on fire prevention and safety, visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.


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