Cochrane Fire Services is holding a contest until the end of April where the best evacuation plan will be rewarded.
Fire Prevention Officer, Lieutenant Jeff Avery, says for the month of April they are encouraging all households to create a plan and practice it. "Another new thing for Cochrane that follows our monthly topic of safety is this month called the Great Cochrane Fire Drill. We want the residents of Cochrane to practice their home evacuation plan and if they don't have a plan, create one and practice it."
Avery, shares while many families may discuss a plan or have taught their kids to call 911 in an emergency situation, he is not overly certain many have an actual evacuation map drawn out. "It would be hard to guess how many people actually have a map that they practice with their kids."
When it comes to getting out safely, Avery, says it should take no more than a couple minutes for everyone to evacuate the premise. "If you can do a fire drill and be out of your house in less than a minute and go to your safe spot, you are doing well."
Lieutenant Avery encourages all families to have two ways identified to get out safely. "When you make your plan you can have red arrows pointing to the main door, your main door should always be your primary exit and if that is blocked have a secondary exit. So the kids know if they are coming downstairs and it looks like the front entrance is blocked they know exactly which exit to take. On the map, it should have first priority and second escape."
Identifying a safe spot is often not discussed and yet is one of the most important details. "Once you get out of the house, you all meet at the same spot because maybe the first portion of the house the exit is the front door but maybe the second portion is the back door or a window, so once everybody is out...where is everyone going to meet?! Everyone's going to meet in a safe place and the same spot for accountability."
If you aren't sure how to create a plan or you would like Fire Services to come watch you put your plan into action, Avery, says absolutely he will come by and give you pointers and offer his expert advice. "It could potentially save lives so I would be more than willing to do that."
The top plans will be rewarded with movie passes and ice cream for participating and designing a plan that will keep their family safe. "This is something new and we would like to see how many people get involved, do it and do a practice run. Hopefully, everyone jumps on board, we want the kids to be involved in the plan and bring it into the fire hall."
Below you will find attachments for the contest that you can save to your desktop and print off. The contest will close at the end of April and Lt. Avery says plans can be dropped off at Fire Services any time from now until then.