Fire Prevention Week-Practice Escape Plan

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Emergency personnel from College Station, Bryan, and Brazos County Fire departments were on hand for the “Safety-Sparktacular” at Post Oak Mall on Saturday.

The event was hosted by College Station Utilities and College Station Fire Department and comes one day before the start of Fire Prevention Week.

Public Information Director Bart Humphreys for CSFD says the theme for this year is practice your escape plan.

"Surveys show that two-thirds of the families have a fire escape plan, but they seldom practice it," Humphreys said.

He stresses that during a fire there is no time to work out possible mistakes in a plan.

"It’s important people don't have to think about their escape plan”, Humphreys said. “They practice it, it becomes automatic."

Doing so gives weight to the old adage practice makes perfect.

In a simulator called the "smoke house", Bryan firefighters gave kids a chance to practice escaping from the dangerous smoke that can fill a home during a fire.

Firefighters with Bryan and College Station Departments say the exercise is really effective at relaying the message to kids, like Mark Perez, not hide during a fire but to get out.

"Bend down low, open the door and get out,” Perez said. “Then get down safety."

Gwendolyn Wells brought out her family to the “Sparktacular” and says it is essential that families physically run through their emergency plans.

"A lot of people, you know, talk to you about it but to get hands on and see it, it stays with you more", Wells said.

Humphreys says the dynamics of an emergency situations change for the better for firefighters when everyone in the family, including pets, are able to make it out of a home before firefighters arrive.

"We don't have to put our personnel in those situations were they have to take extraordinary risks in order to save a life," Humphreys said.

Fire Prevention Week begins on Sunday, October 7 through Saturday, October 13.