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How to save lives in a fire with the Arlington County Fire Department

This Fire Prevention Week, firefighters are sharing important strategies

ARLINGTON, Va. — Fire Station 10 in Rosslyn is the Arlington County Fire Department’s newest fire station, and it's needed because the community is growing so quickly. This Fire Prevention Week, firefighters want to make sure that the public knows to make an escape plan so they can be safe inside their home.

"The community you can see is going straight up in the air, Arlington is a world-class community, and it just keeps growing and growing," said Lt. Ryan Murphy. "So, we’re needing more and more equipment." And more awareness from the growing community.

The Arlington County Fire Department wants the public to have safety in mind, in a time when homes burn hotter and faster than ever, due to the use of synthetic materials, as opposed to wood, in the building. The smoke is also deadlier: carbon monoxide is the toxin that is killed in smoke, but with synthetic materials and plastics, hydrogen cyanide is also released when they burn.

Firefighters are available to check the smoke detectors in your home. And they’re sharing strategies that can save lives. Tips include:

  • Make a home escape plan and know at least two ways out of every room. Draw a map of your home showing all the doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in the home.
  • Have an outside meeting place as a safe distance from the home.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year, once at night and once during the day.
  • Practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children home to escape on their own.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, GET OUT AND STAY OUT. Never go back inside for people or pets.
  • If you must escape through smoke, GET LOW AND GO, under the smoke.

Keeping doors closed in your home can slow fire by 20 or 30 minutes and save lives.

"I've investigated fire scenes where the whole living room is destroyed, and I mean destroyed. And you can open up a bedroom door and it's not even touched," said Murphy.

Arlington County will hold a safety Open House with Technical Rescue Team and Bomb Squad Displays, next Saturday at 11 am, at the Fire Training Academy at 2800 South Taylor Street, in Arlington, Virginia.

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