Fire Prevention: Plan two ways out
On Wednesday, Channel 3 learned it's important to know what to do before a fire.
There were 86 fire fatalities in 2017 in Tennessee and three so far this year. Fire officials are stressing the importance of having an escape plan.
Channel 3 learned it's important to know what to do before a fire. It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment complex or a house. Chattanooga firefighters said when every second counts, it is important that you and your family plan two ways to safely get out.
“I didn't really know what to do with a fire,” Bradee Greer, a 5th-grade student at Big Ridge Elementary School, said.
There's one very important item that needs to be checked off everyone's New Year’s to-do list: a fire escape plan, with plenty of practice.
“Plan it, practice it, execute it," Chuck Hartung, with the Chattanooga Fire Department, said, "so they know what to do in case of an emergency. So it becomes second nature,”
It's something Tonya Greer never really discussed with her daughters until now.
“We have a more modern home and I trust in the smoke detectors, so I haven't been really intentional about teaching them," Greer said.
Greer allowed Channel 3 and Chuck Hartung with the Chattanooga Fire Department inside her home to help make a plan. He encourages families to talk about what to do if a fire occurs and how each person will get out safely.
“What to do when that smoke detector goes off," Hartung said., "they know I go out this door; if that door is not available, I go out that window.”
It's important to find two ways out of every room just in case one is blocked or dangerous to use. He taught Greer's daughters how to open doors and windows that lead outside.
And once outside, he said it's important to know where the family should meet.
“I am supposed to wait for a fireman to come and get me; then I go to the mailbox, and I don't bring anything with me,” said Belle Greer.
“Meet at the mailbox to know that everyone is out, so we don't need to go back in to look for anybody,” said Tonya Greer.
Having an escape plan is important, but firefighters said the most important safety measure is having a working smoke detector. Hartung said the more detectors, the better.