October 10, 2017 3:47 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 7:18 am

Fire Prevention Week 2017 : Every second counts, plan two ways out

Three city of London firefighters reunite Adele Holmes with her dogs during a simulated escape from a fire during fire prevention week 2017.

Jaclyn Carbone / Am980
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London fire has one main message this fire prevention week: every second counts, plan two ways out.

On Tuesday, to kick off the week, London fire held a demonstration of a simulated escape from a house fire.

“The message this year is every second counts, plan two ways out. You can see today with the simulation, the homeowner came out, went to the tree that was a safe meeting place in the yard, then when fire crews arrived they could easily find the occupant of the home,” said Jack Burt, assistant deputy fire chief.

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Using firefighters in full gear, a woman and her pet dogs in a house filling with smoke, London fire demonstrated the importance of smoke alarms and having a solid fire escape plan.

“It’s important for everybody to get out of the house in a timely fashion. It highlights the importance of early detection with working smoke alarms in the home. Make sure you have working smoke alarms in every level of your home, and outside all sleeping areas. Early detection is the key. If you can get out, stay out,” said Burt.

Asked what the leading cause of fires is in London, Burt says, cooking.

“If you’re cooking, stay in the kitchen. We recommend you stand by your pan, look while you cook, watch what you heat, be still by the grill. [Just this weekend] there were two fires, both related to cooking. Thanksgiving weekend, typically we do see a rise in cooking fires here in the city,” he said.

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As for fires in the city compared to last year, Burt says there hasn’t been much of a change.

“It’s been a fairly consistent year for the amount of fires that we’ve had. We’d like to have no fires here in the city, but the reality is we do have fires, and as such, our crews are putting them out.”

Burt is urging everyone to plan ahead. He says you don’t think it will happen to you until it does.

“Plan and practice that home escape plan, I can’t stress that enough. Test your smoke alarms, and make sure that they do work,” he said.

Fire prevention week began Sunday, Oct. 8, and runs until Saturday, Oct. 14.

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