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Home : News : News
NEWS | Sept. 28, 2017

2017 Fire Prevention Week: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

By Ricardo Campos 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron

Many people think fire is something that happens to other people. Unfortunately, this common misperception continues to put Americans at risk to fire each year, particularly at home, where people think they’re safest from fire but are actually at the greatest risk.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, a home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds in 2015, with about 80 percent of all U.S. fire deaths annually occurring at home.

In fact, today’s home fires present increased risks to occupants. Newer homes are built with lightweight materials that burn faster than older home constructions. They also tend to be designed with open floor plans that enable fire to spread rapidly.

Meanwhile, many of the products and furnishings in today’s homes are produced with materials that generate dark, toxic gases when burned, making it impossible to breathe or see within moments. In short, home fires present a real risk that Joint Base San Antonio residents need to take seriously.

One of the most basic but vital elements of home fire safety is having a home escape plan that everyone in the household has practiced. In a fire situation, when the smoke alarm sounds, a practiced home escape plan ensures that everyone knows how to use the precious minutes wisely.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it.

JBSA Fire Emergency Services is working in coordination with NFPA, the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8-14.

JBSA Fire Chief Mark Ledford urges all residents to use this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign as a reminder to develop a home escape plan with everyone in the household and practice it twice a year.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.

JBSA Fire Emergency Services recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:

  • Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.

  • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.

  • Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.

  • Have an adult sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.

  • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

Additionally, throughout Fire Prevention Week, JBSA Fire Emergency Services at each location will be hosting activities to promote ‘Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!


The week closes Oct. 14 with an open house at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston fire station No. 5, building 1704, from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be static vehicle displays, Sparky the Fire Dog, smoke house trailer and fire safety information for all the family. Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention.


To find out more about Fire Prevention Week activities at each operating location contact JBSA- Lackland at 210-652-6915, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-221-1804 or JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-6915 and ask for the Fire Prevention Section. To learn more about “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” visit the NFPA website at