The week of Oct. 3-9 has been marked as National Fire Prevention Week, and safety experts have used it as an opportunity to educate Americans about how to keep themselves and their families safe during a similar emergency.
For example, Allyson Fulton of Safe Kids Pennsylvania, says that more than 400 American children die in home fires alone each year, but correctly installed and working smoke detectors can cut the risk nearly in half.
Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of a house and near each sleeping area or bedroom. Since smoke rises to the ceiling during a fire emergency, they should be paced as high as possible and toward the center of the room.
Proper maintenance of this system is also an important part of ensuring survival in the case of a fire. Alarms should be tested once a month and vacuumed regularly to prevent blockage with dust and other particles. Batteries should be replaced once per year.
Finally, families should conduct periodic fire drills so that during an emergency everyone — especially young children — know several escape routes and a safe meeting place outside.