Two Ways Out

This past Friday night around 8:00PM, my family and I heard a fire truck and an ambulance head past our house. We live on a busy street, so we paid little attention. However, additional fire trucks and ambulances kept going by. Sensing that something big was happening, my younger daughter and I put on our coats and headed up the sidewalk in the direction of the rescue vehicles. Over the trees, we could see thick, white smoke billowing from the townhouses about a quarter of a mile from our house. As we got closer (well out of the way of the responders, of course), we could see yellow flames shooting up from the end unit of one of the townhouses. The unit was completely engulfed in flames. A horrible sight to witness. Tragically, we read the next morning that someone had perished in the fire.

Having two children at home, I spent a lot of time the next day reading about fire safety. (See firesafety.gov.) Most of what I read emphasized that a home fire safety plan should show two ways out of every room. On Saturday night we went over the evacuation routes for everyone in the house from every room in the house and determined a place to meet following an evacuation.

Take a look at your evacuation routes at work. Are there places along those routes that someone could get trapped by a fire? If so, revise that evacuation route. Always look for two ways out.

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