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‘Have two ways out’

By Staff | Oct 9, 2012

Establish a home fire safety plan for the family – and go over it.

That is the message the Cape Coral Fire Department is emphasizing during National Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 7-13. Each year, the National Fire Protection Association comes up with a fire-related theme to focus on.

This year, “Have 2 Ways Out!” is about fire escape planning and practice.

“Have two exits from a home in an emergency,” Dave Webster, a fire inspector with the CCFD, said. “Have a family safety plan and practice it.”

Choose a place outside of the home, like the mailbox or a neighbor’s front door, where everyone is supposed to meet after they have escaped.

“Have family fire drills,” Webster said, noting that practice is important.

There should be smoke detectors in every bedroom, and the smoke detectors should be serviced regularly and the batteries changed.

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, the CCFD is hosting open houses at all of the 10 fire stations from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

“Unfortunately, you only get to meet firefighters during an emergency situation,” he said, adding that the open houses offer the public a chance to meet the crew at their neighborhood station in a “happy atmosphere.”

Webster added that it is also an opportunity for residents to get a better understanding of the different types of jobs that the firefighters do.

“People are quite surprised about a lot of things they do,” he said.

The public is also often unaware that fire stations are public buildings.

“They’re open to the public 24 hours a day,” Webster said. “And each station is unique because each station has its own speciality.”

For example, one may house the marine unit and another the dive team.

This is the third year that the CCPD has hosted the open houses.

“The firefighters really look forward to meeting the public,” he said.

On Saturday, there will be fire safety handouts available for adults and children, along with coloring books and child-sized hats. Children will also be allowed to climb on the fire trucks; photo opportunities will be available.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Cape Coral Caring Center food pantry. Donations will be accepted during October at all 10 stations to help feed those in need in the Cape over the holidays.