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1/15/13 6:40 A

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Practice evacuation with the whole family and rehearse it until everyone knows exactly what they should do. Set off the smoke alarm so everyone knows what it sounds like. Practice crawling to an exit and be sure your children understand they should never hide in the house during a fire.

How to Do It
· Install and maintain smoke detectors
· Make an escape plan and practice it
· Plan at least 2 ways out of each room in case one way is blocked
· Agree on a meeting place
· Make our exit drills realistic

Be Prepared
· If you live in an apartment building, use stairways to escape. Never use an elevator during a fire.
· If you live in a two-story house, and you must escape from a second-story window, be sure there is a safe way to reach the ground. People who have difficulty moving should have a phone in their sleeping area and, if possible, should sleep on the ground floor.
· Test doors before opening them. While kneeling or crouching at the door, reach up and touch the door, the knob, and the space between the door and its frame with the back of your hand. If the door s hot, use another route. If the door is cool, open it with caution.
· If you are trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the doors to keep out the smoke. Wait at a window and signal for help with a light colored cloth or flashlight. If there's a phone in the room, call the fire department and tell them exactly where you are.
· Get out fast...In case of fire, don't stop for anything. Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor's phone or an alarm box. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department.
· Crawl low under smoke. Smoke contains deadly gases, and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor.
· ...and STAY OUT. Once you are out of the home don't go back for any reason. If people are trapped, the firefighters have the best chance of rescuing them.

Interesting Facts
For the February 4, 1735 issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin sent an anonymous letter to his own newspaper entitled Protection of Towns from Fire. Writing as an "old citizen" he admonished:
“In the first Place, as an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure…..”

In 1736, Benjamin Franklin organized the first volunteer fire-fighting society, called the Union Fire Company.

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