Baltimore fire officials urge people to create fire escape plan

Posted at 5:42 PM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-12 17:53:12-05

Firefighters have a message to everyone and say they're trying to teach people about fire prevention and the different ways you can protect yourself. 

One lieutenant says goes beyond making sure you have a working smoke detector to keep you and your family safe, adding it takes communication, planning, preparation. 

Vincent Ayd knows his tools --- after all, he does own Ayd Hardware in Towson. 

Ayd said as people prepare for winter, it's important to keep yourself safe in the process by using up to date alarms, heaters, holiday lights, and electrical cords. 

"If it's an old electrical cord, you have to be careful because -- especially the radiant element heaters -- they take up a lot of energy to that power cord line and if the cord is old and weak that's a fire hazard right there," Ayd said. 

Fire officials in Baltimore city are stressing that same message. 

"The best thing is to have that plan and the parents go over the plan and when they practice the plan, they practice getting to the children or having other ways of keeping the children safe," Lt. Kevin Williams said. 

After a series of fatal fires in the city that killed children and an elderly woman, Williams is concerned people aren't prepared. 

"When we talk to parents, we try to get them to understand how important it is to have the same kind of plan that you have in your school, have that at home," Williams said. 

Williams says the plan or E.D.I.T.H., which stands for exit drills in the home, should be reinforced so everyone who lives inside knows what to do. 

"Have a moment with your family and sit down and come up with an escape plan. Draw something that looks like the floor plan of your house, point out ways to get out, have at least two ways out of every room if possible, but definitely two ways out your house," he said. 

"Placement -- you have to really be careful where you place them. Certainly not around any curtains or any flammable material in the room: bedroom, living room, wherever you were going to place it," Ayd said. 

It's a safety measure set to save lives. 

Holiday decorations are also on the list including real Christmas trees. 

Fire officials say make sure the trees are watered regularly to prevent them from becoming a hazard. Baltimore city fire crews plan on heading out to different neighborhoods this weekend for a 'city wide blitz' teaching people about the importance of installing working smoke detectors and having a fire escape plan in place. 

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