It’s Fire Prevention Week across the province and this year’s theme is all about having a family escape plan.

Lethbridge Fire Prevention Officer, Troy Hicks says it’s important families know where to go and what to do in the event of a house fire.

“Always have two ways out,” says Hicks. “By getting people to practice that it’ll become second nature. The more we practice it the better off we will be getting out of their homes. In this day and age the amount of time you have to get out of your home safely is a lot less than what it used to be even ten years ago. So just the importance of making sure people have a way to get out.”

The Office of the Fire Commissioner notes 30% of fires in Canada and 67% of all fire deaths happen at home.

Cooking is the most common cause of house fires and smoking is behind the majority of fire deaths across the country.

To recognize Fire Prevention Week, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services will be awarding their annual Fire Chief for a Day to one lucky Lethbridge student. They will also host the Community Heroes awards at City Hall on Thursday, October 10 at 11:00 am.

Things to consider when creating a fire escape plan:

  • Plan two routes out of your home.
  • Run practice drills twice a year in both the daytime and evening with all members of your family testing your different routes out.
  • Ensure your house is clearly marked so it is easy for the fire department to find.
  • Teach children the importance of crawling under smoke as well as closing doors to slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Designate a safe meeting place outside your home. Remind everyone that once they are outside, they should stay outside and NEVER go back inside a burning building.

(Story with files from City of Lethbridge)