Fire can engulf your home in less than 2 minutes: Here's how to avoid tragedy

Brandon Addeo
York Dispatch

If a fire were to break out in your family's home, would you know what to do?

The Pennsylvania State Fire Commission urges pre-planning and quick thinking in the event of a blaze.

“Confusion and inaction are your worst enemy in the critical first few seconds following an alert from a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector in your home,” State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego said. “Planning your escape and practicing that plan in advance are absolutely vital to protecting your safety.”

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Modern homes contain synthetic materials that burn "hotter and faster than ever," Trego said in a written statement. A family might have as little as two minutes to safely escape from their home.

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Families should create a plan of how they would escape in the event of a fire and conduct two fire drills every year, once during the day and once at night. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of a building, and they should also be placed near every sleeping area.

Here are more fire safety tips from the state fire commission:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case adults are not able to help them.

  • Make sure your house number is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

  • Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.

  • Never go back inside a burning building. Once outside, stay outside.

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