Fire_prevention wkIndiana’s fire marshal is encouraging Hoosier families to take fire safety seriously by planning evacuation routes for their homes as part of Fire Prevention Week, October 8-14.

This year’s theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” reminds Hoosiers that seconds can mean the difference between safety and a tragedy.

“Smoke alarms save lives, but equally important is when Hoosiers are ready to act when those alarms sound,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal, Jim Greeson.

Greeson recommends that Hoosiers sit down with their households and

draw a map of the home and mark two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit. Families should also practice home fire drills twice a year, conduct one at night and one during the day with all residents. It’s important to teach children how to escape on their own in case help isn’t available.  Other suggestions include making sure the number of the home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find, practice closing doors while evacuating the home as this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire and once outside, stay at the established meeting point. Never go back inside a burning building.

Greeson suggests looking for hazards in your home such as electric cords that are worn, frayed or covered with clothing, blankets or furniture, candles that are closer than 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and/or that are in unstable holders that can accidentally be jostled by adults, children or pets.   Built-up of dryer lint is a fire hazard as is blocked doors, windows and pathways that can prevent or slow down an escape.

Also, make sure smoke alarms are installed and working on every level of a home, and inside and outside bedrooms. Every bedroom should have a smoke alarm in it.

For more information on fire prevention and safety, visit