Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.

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On front row from left are Kenny Penrod, Jamacia Solitaire, Hailey Martin, Amber Barnes, Agent- Mike Murphy, Savanna Anderson, EJ Rachal and Jason Solomon. On back row are Kory Leo, Brent Dupree, Scott Nichols, Josh Hickman, Mark Scott, David Sharp, Josh Behan, John Wynn, Josh Isbell. Ashley Orr.

State Farm and the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) have teamed up to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week™ campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait… Plan Your Escape.™.” from Oct. 9-15 to educate the public about simple, but important, steps they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. 
State Farm agents are donating 4,400 “Fire Won’t Wait .. Plan Your Escape” and “Sparky the Fire Dog” fire safety kits to fire departments and elementary schools across the country. In Louisiana, over 100 fire kits are being donated by State Farm agents.
“Today’s homes burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out depends on early warning from working smoke alarms and advance planning,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of the Outreach and Advocacy division at NFPA.

This article published in the Sept. 22, 2022, print edition.

“These materials capture the attention of young audiences in a fun, but educational way,” said Mike Murphy, a Natchitoches State Farm agent.  “Many fires are preventable and we want to ensure our local kids know how to not only avoid starting fires, but what to do in case one does happen.”
“The importance of knowing what to do in case of an emergency could save you from certain disaster,” said Natchitoches Fire Chief John Wynn. “Remember that you should develop an escape plan and practice at least twice a year, make the first Saturday of each month “Smoke Alarm Saturday” and check the operation of each detector in your home and make sure that you have a detector in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home. Test by pressing the test button. If it makes a loud beep, beep, beep sound you know it’s working. If no sound or it’s low you should replace the battery, or if its older than 10 years old you should replace it.”
The City of Natchitoches Fire Department and your Parish Fire Districts wants you to know what to do if a fire should occur in your home. Remember “When You Hear a Beep, Get On Your Feet!” Get out and stay out. Call 9-1-1 from your outside meeting place.
For more safety messages about Fire Prevention Week and what your local fire departments are doing, attend an Open House Thursday, Oct. 6 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Fire Training Facility, 6587 HWY 1 Bypass.
The Open House will feature Sparky visits, food, games, giveaways and live fire demonstrations.
The Kit contains
1. Fire Prevention Week (FPW) Banner
2. FPW Posters
3.Kids’ Activity Booklets
4.FPW Bags
5.FPW Adult Brochures
6. Fire Safety News
7. FPW Magnets
8. FPW Stickers
Here are some important Home Fire Escape Safety Tips: 
* Make sure your home escape plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
* Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
* Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
* Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
* Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.
For additional tips and information about Fire Prevention Week visit https://www.nfpa.org/fpw  
 To download free Sparky the Fire Dog educational resource such as videos, games and fire safety lesson plans for elementary school students visit https://sparky.org/