Knowing that today's homes burn faster than ever,the National FireProtection Association (NFPA) announced “Every Second Counts:Plan Two Ways Out” as the official theme for this year'sFire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017.

2 minutes to escape

Experts say you may have as little as two minutes (or even less)to safely escape a typical home fire from the time the smoke alarmsounds.

“Modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homestend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweightconstruction, all contribute to an increased rate at which homefires burn,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach andAdvocacy at NFPA. “These factors make home escape planning andpractice critical.”

Common misperceptions

Meanwhile, a national survey recently conducted by NFPA showsthat Americans continue to have many misperceptions around homeescape planning and practice:

  • Less than half of Americans (48%) know that the correctcomponents of a home fire escape plan include working smoke alarms,two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.
  • Nearly one quarter of Americans (23%) do not know that eachroom in the home should have at least two exits.
  • Close to three in five Americans (57%) think that in a typicalsingle-family home fire situation, once the smoke alarm sounds, theaverage person would have more than two minutes to escapesafely.

“Home is the place people are at greatest risk of fire, butironically it's the place they feel safest from it,” said Carli.“That over-confidence may contribute to the public's continued lackof awareness around home escape planning and practice.”

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Jayleen R. Heft

Jayleen Heft is the digital content editor for Contact her at [email protected].