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Fire escape plan could mean difference between life and death
By: Ruben Veloz
El PASO, TexasThe city of El Paso has not had a fire related death since 2011, but that doesn't mean a tragedy can't strike again.
That is why firefighters say planning out a fire escape plan is important, especially if you have kids at home.
"Fire escape plan is possibly your only means of egress in an emergency, especially after hours when you are asleep, said El Paso Fire Marshal Orlando Arriola, "Many times the mind doesn't function properly and you just want out, but if you have a plan and you practice that plan, there's a guidance, a guidance in the back of your mind."
Recently, the borderland has experienced a string of fires, including one in the lower valley just last week.
As KFOX14 reported witnesses said a woman and a child had to jump out of this two-story window and onto a mattress. Arriola said that should be your last resort.
"You need to have the faith and the fire department will be there, we get there in several minutes, few minutes, said Arriola
The first thing you should do in a fire emergency is to get out fast, but Arriola says if you become trapped, you should stay in your room until firefighters arrive.
"I know if you are in that room, it's going to feel like an eternity, but what I am asking is that if you close that door behind you, and you remain calm as best as you can in that bedroom and allow us to get there, said Arriola.
Firefighters say each fire escape plan should have at least two ways out.
"We don't want people to try to run through the fire, that is not really a viable option, a lot of people have died doing that, said Arriola.
According to the El Paso Fire Departments website, if you're going make an escape plan, you want to draw a layout of your home.
Make sure you have a meeting place, and plan two ways out of each room.
You want to go over that plan with everyone who lives in your home, and make sure you know where to meet outside after everyone escapes.
You also want to make sure your smoke detectors are working correctly, and have fresh batteries.
If you visit the El Paso Fire Department's website, you can print out instructions to help you build a fire escape plan at home.
Arriola tells KFOX14 once you have drawn out your plan, you should practice it with your family as often as possible.
Fire Escape Plan: https://home.elpasotexas.gov/fire-department/safety-tips.php