INDIANAPOLIS, Ind-- The winter months are an especially dangerous time of year for house fires. In the past few weeks, more than a half dozen people have died as the result of a fire. Most of them have been children.
In light of the tragedies, we asked the Pike Township Fire Department for the best methods to help keep you and your family safe.
“There’s a lot you can do and you should be working on things,” said Division Chief of Training Joe Amis.
Firefighters say the most important thing is to have working smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be placed on ceilings throughout the home and placed at points where everyone can hear them.
“If nothing else do that right now. Make sure your batteries are good, test them, make sure you have your child with you in there when you test it because they need to know what it sounds like and what it means,” said Amis.
Amis says an escape plan with multiple options is also important. He says a common best practice is to have at least two ways out of every room, and a plan that can adapt for any scenario.
“So you want to have your main way out and that’s the situation you’ll have to think on your feet. If that way is not going to work then you’ll have to have plan B.”
Fires and smoke can often move quickly, so for the best chance at staying safe, Amis says you should work towards being able to escape your home in under three minutes.
"(The fire) could develop in 2 ½ minutes, you need to be able to escape in that amount of time,” he said.
Amis says you can also stay safe by sleeping with your bedroom door closed. Doors can often be the only barrier between you and the fire.
For more information on how to keep your family, click here.