RICHARDSON – When there is a fire at home every second counts, which is why it is important families install smoke alarms on every level of the house, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. It’s also good to create a fire escape plan.

“Not only is it important to have a plan in place, it’s important to practice it often. The more you practice something, the better you are and you want to be good at escaping out of a house if there is a fire,” said Fire Marshal Wesley Caskey.

A fire escape plan includes two ways to escape each room in a home. The plan should include a safe location where family members meet once they are outside, usually a neighbor’s house.  A working smoke alarm allows people an early warning so they can escape from a fast-moving fire. It’s suggested batteries in a smoke alarm be replaced every six months and families should consider testing them every month.

Families can hold regular fire drills at home to make sure everyone knows exactly what to do and where to meet in case of a fire. People should also remember to “get out, stay out and call for help.”