Fire Safety Week continues through the month

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Visiting schools in the area to inform children about the importance of fire safety is just one of the ways local fire departments increased awareness of their cause last week.

According to Capt. Vernon Waters of the Demopolis Fire Department, their efforts will extend past National Fire Prevention Week, which was held last week, and they will continue to visit churches and schools for the remainder of the month.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2006, 80 percent of all fire deaths were caused by home fires. In Alabama, home fires resulted in 87 fire-related fatalities in 2006, ranking the state as third worst in the nation in deaths and injuries.

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The Alabama Fire Marshal&8217;s office points out one of the main causes behind these tragic statistics is that people are not getting out of their homes in a safe time. The National Fire Protection Association has found while two-thirds of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only one-third have practiced it. Also, most Americans greatly underestimate the time it takes until a fire turns deadly.

State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said, &8220;You can have as little as two minutes to escape your home in a fire.&8221;

Furthermore, last year alone, home fires killed 2,600 people and 12,500 were injured.

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