Every Second Counts: October Is Fire Prevention Month

Marie Harrington
October 10, 2017

In a fire, seconds count and how you use those precious moments can mean the difference between escaping safely or having lives end in tragedy.

West Hartford Assistant Fire Chief Mike Sinsigalli said Friday that plans for National Fire Prevention Week - which runs from Sunday to October 14- that typically includes open houses at all five fire stations, visits to schools and distributing red plastic helmets, have been scaled back due to budget concerns.

The theme this year is titled "Every Second Counts, Plan Two Ways Out".

Fire spreads quickly, leaving people less than two minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

CT public safety officials are urging residents to create and practice a home escape plan in the event of a fire.

"At least two escape plans to get out of the house, once you get out do not go back in", said Ingebretson. It will serve to house the bulk of the fire department's fleet and vehicles and will house the everyday administrative operation of the department along with a firefighter crew. During the past year, the main 17,000-square-foot facility has been remodeled to adapt to the fire station's needs.

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Van Gorkom says to not only check batteries this time of the year, but to look at the age of the units to ensure they are up-to-date.

The Summit Fire Department will be conducting fire prevention presentations during the month of October at Summit schools, senior centers, and community events.

In addition to making sure your smoke detectors work the fire department encourages everyone to install carbon monoxide detectors.

Practice your home fire drill twice a year.

"We really want everyone to come out and see the fire stations", said Chief Byron Herring. The presence of smoke detectors can be the single-biggest lifesaver in the event of a fire. The primary goal of the AFG is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. While the fire department is known for its role in responding to a fire, it can also provide resources for those in the community to be better protected from a fire starting or spreading. Practice using different ways out, as long as it is safe to do so.

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