ALPENA, Mich. — Last year, 73 percent of fire fatalities in Michigan involved adults over the age of 40. Fire safety experts warn safety for all Michiganders, especially the elderly who are the most at risk when it comes to fire. Andy Marceau with the Alpena Fire Department reminds everyone that having an escape plan is crucial, especially for our most vulnerable population.
“We think, oh if the alarm goes off, we’re just going to go out the front door. That’s going to be our first choice. That should be your first choice, but we never think about the second way out, and we really need to think about two ways out of every room,” said Marceau.
“The other thing is, close before you dose. When they go to bed at night, they should always close their door, and keep it shut during the night when they sleep because that will give them more time to get out safe,” he added.
CREATE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN
What do you do if your house is on fire? Escape as quickly as possible through the nearest exit. Close the door behind you to slow the fire growth. Have two ways out of every room in the house and practice both on a regular basis.
What do you do once you are outside? Meet at your designated meeting space away from the house, such as the mailbox, a large tree or a neighbor’s house. Once outside, DO NOT RE-ENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON. Your neighbors can help you call 911.
What if a fire breaks out in the kitchen? If you have an extinguisher in the kitchen with you, try to quickly put the fire out while instructing your family members to escape and call 911. If you do not have an extinguisher, you and your family should evacuate the house and go to your designated meeting place. Close the door behind you exiting the house to slow the fire growth.
What if the fire happens while I am asleep? Get out of the bed, close your bedroom door and escape out of the window. Got to your designated meeting place and then call 911.
For more information, please visit michigan.gov/miprevention.