How to keep yourself safe in case of a fire

Posted at 3:42 PM, Oct 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-07 00:41:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Monday marks the beginning of National Fire Safety Awareness Week, so firefighters have been educating Utahns on what to do when a fire sparks.

Firefighters nationwide encourage everyone to have two planned escape routes from the house in case a fire sparks and have a meeting place outside the house.

"Every eighty seconds in the United States there are fires that occur in homes, so we need to know two ways out," said Doug Bitton with the Layton City Fire Dept.

At an open house at Layton City Fire Station 51 last week, hundreds of kids got some practice ducking down and getting out of their houses fast when a fire starts.

Firefighters say people should be able to get out of a house within one minute. Flames aren't the only danger; smoke from a fire can also be deadly.

"Our firefighters are sad to report that when they do see fatalities in homes, they usually find the people when they're closest to a window or a door," said Bitton. "The smoke is toxic, it's very toxic. We have a lot of plastics, our floors, our carpets are made out of recycled pop bottles, so we have a lot of plastic in our homes, the smoke is just so deadly we can't breathe it."

Installing sprinklers can help slow the spread of smoke. They're expensive, but they can save lives in an emergency. It's also important to have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm inside the home.