Fire Department urges families to practice escape routes in time for Winter

Now with Fire Safety Week, the fire department is pushing one theme: Two-ways-out. (WICS)

This week is Fire Prevention Week and firefighters have a warning about safely heating your home as the weather gets colder.

Everyone has done the fire drills, at school, and work, but most devastating fires happen at home and usually during the dead of night.

This winter, many will look at the wrong ways to stay warm, but the fire department warns not to turn to unconventional heating.

"Where we create a fire,” said Captain James Price, Fire Safety officer of the Springfield Fire Department. “Is the one place that's very hard to escape from."

Captain Price said many start using space heaters, open ovens, candles, and fireplaces to heat up, but it’s something that could cost your life.

"None of us like to see people still in the building,’ he said. “Or have to suffer because of a fire."

Now with Fire Safety Week, the fire department is pushing one theme: Two-ways-out.

“Every second counts,” Captain Price said. “So, we have to plan two ways out."

But not just plan, he said, practice, and not only with doors but all exits.

Knowing how to escape your windows is crucial.

First, pull the blinds, understand how to unlock and open all windows around the house, release the screen, and either climb or roll out

Captain Price said never to break open windows or slash screens. He said he has seen many severely injured climbing through sharp glass shards from broken windows. Rather families should take time now to figure out how to unlock and undo the fixture, so you can know the functions later. If you must break a window, place a thick cloth onto the glass to prevent from cuts and deep gashes.

Local heating specialists say they see many homes turn to dangerous methods for warmth.

The owner of Mike Williams Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning, Lewis Williams said there is a good way to prevent problems.

"Don't turn to those unconventional ways,” said Williams. “Focus on mostly getting that system up and running. Get it checked before that season starts so that you know it's running and everything is running properly."

The Fire Department said to take every precaution and before temperatures drop, families should create an escape route.

"Give it a little bit of planning and practice it,” he said. “And that's how we prevent any of those very serious tragedies from happening."

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