Fire prevention reminders offered

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Fire Prevention Week this week — Oct. 6-12 — and your neighbors at Priest Lake Idaho Department of Lands would like to remind everyone that burn permits are required through Oct. 20.

Smokey Bear is 75 years old and still encouraging everyone to be careful while burning debris piles — no matter what the date on the calendar happens to be. Bonner County Fire Prevention Co-op is reminding area residents to check their fire detectors and chimneys and practice safe storage practices.

Nationally, the National Fire Protection Association has announced “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” as the theme for this year’s fire prevention week.

Now is also a good time to plan ahead and create a fire safety plan. If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire.

Practice your plan and test your alarms, suggest Northwest Region of American Red Cross officials in a press release.

For free home fire safety resources, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).

Include at least two ways to get out of each room in your home fire escape plan and select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet, officials suggest.

Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, placing them inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.

Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross is working with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign.

— which has saved at least 642 lives across the country since launching in October 2014.

Over the past five years throughout the Northwest Region, the Red Cross and local partners have installed 23,000 free smoke alarms; reached 11,300 children through youth preparedness programs; and made 8,500 households safer from the threat of home fires.

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