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News and Events

October 2, 2012
Contact: Mary MacCaffrie
Public Education Administrator
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan
NH State Fire Marshal's Office

Have Two Ways Out

If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? Most people underestimate the speed and power of fire. The fact is home fires can become deadly within a matter of minutes.

That's why New Hampshire State Fire Marshal, J. William Degnan, is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, to urge residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" This year's theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice. In 2011, New Hampshire fire departments responded to 1,264 home fires. These fires caused forty one civilian injuries, seven civilian deaths, and $13 million in direct damage.

Marshal Degnan states that "Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family's safety should fire break out in your home."

Marshal Degnan 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.
  • Practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
  • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in your town or city, contact your local Fire Department. To learn more about "Have Two Ways Out!" visit NFPA's Web site at

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