Put your fire escape plans to the test

Times Colonist Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Consider yourself warned that at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 fire sirens will sound across the region to test how well you could escape a fire.

Fire departments from Sooke to Sidney are hosting the Great Community Fire Escape Drill on that day. The purpose of the drill is to encourage residents to plan and practise how to safely escape from their homes in the event of fire and gather at a predetermined place. Prior to the drill at 6:25 p.m. residents are encouraged to test their smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.

People can take or mail their escape plan to their local fire station for advice on improvements. Plans submitted by Oct, 19 will be entered into a draw for one of 25 prizes.

"Most people think they know what they should do in a fire, but never practise it," Debbie Turner, fire prevention officer, said in a media release. "A fire should not be the first time you test the plan."

In August, two young women who were guests at a Villance Street house died in a fire that quickly destroyed the residence. Five others escaped the blaze, some with serious injuries. Fire officials say they will never know why the two women couldn't get out, but note that dense smoke, along with being unfamiliar with the home, could have made escape difficult.

Following the fire drill, several capital region fire departments will host open houses where the public can talk with firefighters about fire safety and escape plans.

Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007

WELL. That only took four tries to make a new thread.