A recent house fire in Vernon was a total loss, although everyone was able to get out safely. (Photo: Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)

Fire Prevention Week sparks safety reminder for Okanagan residents

Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practise your escape

Vernon Fire Rescue Services is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years — to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practise Your Escape!

The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

In Canada, most fire deaths occur in the home, where people believe they are most safe. Canadian fire departments respond to roughly 25,600 structure fires per year. In 2015, structure fires caused more than 1,400 injuries and almost 200 deaths.

“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practise can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.

While NFPA and VFRS are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said VFRS Chief David Lind. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

To help you build an escape plan, or to learn valuable fire prevention and safety tips, visit www.fpw.org.

READ MORE: Firefighters battle blaze in Vernon home

READ MORE: Vernon garage fire quickly doused


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