PENHOLD – Having a plan of escape during a fire can save lives.
This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6 to 12 is Plan and Practice your Escape.
It’s a message local fire departments are urging families to do.
"Always know your way out and have that discussion with your family. (Know) where to go if there is a fire and how to get out," said Stephanie Vanbesleaere, fire prevention and education officer with the Penhold Fire Department.
Penhold firefighters share that message with students and the community through events and outreach.
"Every year during Fire Prevention Week, we go into the schools and we give a presentation on fire prevention, talk to students about fire safety, planning their escape and doing stop, drop and roll," said Vanbesleaere, noting families should practise their fire escape plan every month.
Penhold fire Chief Jim Pendergast said students play an important role when it comes to fire prevention at home.
"We get them to take that message home to their families and that's what we want,” said Pendergast. “This year the theme is about practising an escape plan at home.”
Pendergast is also reminding people to check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms twice a year and test smoke alarms every month.
"If people call us at 403-886-4553 we'll come out and help them with their (smoke and carbon monoxide) alarm. If they can't afford to replace their alarm, we'll replace it for them," said Pendergast. “It's the law. It's a provincial requirement that you have a working smoke alarm on every level and in every sleeping area.
"We know for sure the best way to save lives is to have a working smoke alarm and have a plan to get out," he said. "That's what this year is all about,” Pendergast concluded.