Column: State Rep. Frye Urges Action During Fire Prevention Month

Posted On September 22, 2017

Guest column by State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) 

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Next month is fire prevention month, and as a retired firefighter, I cannot stress enough the importance of implementing a fire safety plan. Unfortunately, seven people in the United States dies in home fires each day. Every second counts, which is why a fire safety plan is imperative to preventing you and your loved ones from becoming a statistic.

Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, and the theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” The National Fire Prevention Association offers multiple tips for developing a fire escape plan for your family, including mapping out exits from your home and practicing fire drills twice a year.

When conducting fire drills, make sure children know how to exit the house on their own in case fire prevents you from helping them. On your way out of the house, try to close doors behind you to get in the habit of slowing the spread of smoke and fire in case of a real emergency. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building. To help the fire department, make sure the number of your home is clearly marked to make it easier for firefighters to find.

Our communities have recently rallied around families who have lost their homes due to house fires. I am glad no one was hurt in these fires, but this just shows that emergency plans are effective in keeping loved ones safe.

Fire extinguishers can also be a lifesaver. Many extinguishers for the home can be purchased at most retail stores. It is recommended to have an extinguisher on each floor of the home.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, three out of five fire deaths in the home happen when smoke alarms do not function. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires in half. Alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date stamped on the alarm. To check how old a smoke alarm is, look at the side or back of the alarm for its manufacturing date. When checking the manufacturing date of alarms, be sure to check the battery. Checking the battery on a routine basis can ensure the safety of your family and home. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead.

During my 20 years working as a firefighter, I have extinguished countless fires and seen many families uprooted due to fires that could have been prevented. Please make sure your smoke alarms function, consider purchasing a home fire extinguisher and develop a fire plan to keep your loved ones, and home, safe.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-234-3827 or by email at h67@iga.in.gov. I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h67.