Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 25 : Summer 2015 - Page 32

P•R•E•V•E•N•T Pushing for Increased Fire Safety for Mainers Jane Margesson AARP Maine Communications Director AARP Maine is currently raising awareness about a Red Cross educational campaign to help keep Mainers safer by launching a fire safety campaign whose goal is to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. R Realize the Danger of Smoke: It only takes one or two minutes to succumb to smoke inhalation. Smoke and heat rise, so instruct family members to drop on hands and knees and crawl to the nearest exit. If a door is hot, don’t open it. Stuff the cracks with towels or clothing and cover vents to Fire safety is a top concern among older keep out smoke. residents in Maine. According to a study conducted by the American Burn Association, E Establish a Safe Meeting Place: Find a more than 1,200 Americans 65 and older die place for all family members to meet once each year as a result of fire. In Maine, the top outside the house. If someone is missing, three areas where fires tend to start are the alert the fire department, but never re-enter kitchen (18.4%), bedroom (7%), and attic a burning building. space (3%). V Visit Your Plan Often: Practice, The Maine Fire Marshal reports that in 2014, practice, practice. Set off a smoke alarm and there were 25 fire-related deaths in Maine. go through the drill, doing exactly what you This number demonstrates that we all might would do during a real fire. need a refresher when it comes to fire safety. E Exit Safely: Purchase fire ladders for P•R•E•V•E•N•T is a risk management the second floor, or instruct children to use strategy from AARP that highlights seven an adjacent porch or roof to wait for the fire steps regarding how to prevent fires and what department. If you live in an apartment, to do in case a fire happens in your home: never use an elevator to escape a fire. If you have to jump from a window to escape, jump P Plan Ahead: Install smoke detectors feet first. and test these alarms monthly and replace batteries every six months. Practice N Never Stop to Collect Your Valuables: opening windows and fix jammed windows Save yourself. You and your family can’t be immediately. Always close bedroom doors replaced. while sleeping (it takes fire 10 to 15 minutes to burn through a wooden door). T Take Care of Those Who Can’t Help Themselves: Make plans for helping 30 SUMMER 2015