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Every Second Counts, Plan Two Ways Out: Pedersen

The focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is to ensure everyone has a fire safety plan that includes at least two ways out, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen, minister responsible for the Office of the Fire Commissioner, announced today. 

In an emergency, time is of the essence so we all need to make sure our families have an escape plan, know what to do and practice getting out safely,” said Pedersen.  “It only takes a few minutes to prepare.  There is nothing more important than making sure your family knows what to do in the event of a fire.” 

This year’s theme, Every Second Counts:  Plan Two Ways Out, encourages people to create and practice an escape plan.  Some important tips to remember include:

  • draw a map of your home and mark two exits from each room;

  • practice your fire drill twice a year including one at night;

  • practice using different ways out;

  • teach children to escape on their own in case you can’t help them;

  • make sure your address is clearly marked so the fire department can find it;

  • close doors behind you as you leave, as it helps slow the spread of smoke and fire; and

  • once you are outside, stay outside and never go back into a burning building. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), once a smoke alarm sounds, you may have less than two minutes to escape.  The Office of the Fire Commissioner and the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs (MAFC), along with fire departments throughout the province encourage all Manitobans to have an escape plan and practice it.  Knowing what to do when you hear the alarm could save your life. 

“Everyone in the household must understand the escape plan,”said Cameron Abrey, president, MAFC.  “When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily. Be fully prepared for a real fire:  when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately.” 

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following safety tips:

  • install smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas and in every bedroom for maximum protection;

  • remove smoke alarms from the wall or ceiling, check for the manufacture date then replace any that are 10 years old or more;

  • interconnect hard-wired smoke alarms throughout the home so when one sounds, they all do;

  • test alarms monthly;

  • ensure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands they should get outside immediately if they hear it;

  • agree on a family meeting place; and

  • stay outside and call the fire department. 

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities across the province, contact the OFC at  To learn more about how to prepare a home escape plan visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.orgor

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