By: Brenda Keen
Should you have a fire at your home, seconds count and how you react within the first few minutes can make a huge difference in what happens in saving your home.
Fire department personnel must be able to locate and identify your home in a timely manner.
For this reason, make sure your 911 address is clearly marked and that you use reflective letters. Your 911 address needs to be at the entrance of your home.
Teach your children your 911 address. There might be a situation where you would need them to call the fire department for you, so teach them at an early age how to place the call and what your address is. Sometimes we assume that the emergency personnel know where everyone lives, but in fact they don’t.
Take a look at your neighborhood or street. Make sure that your street signs are clear so that emergency personnel can find your home.
The street address and your 911 address should be in numbers and letters that are at least four inches tall.
Even if your house is a distance from the street, make sure your address is posted at the street.
Narrow drive ways and roads make it difficult for firefighters to arrive at your home and valuable time can be lost in getting to your home. Any delay can be critical during the event you have a fire. Sometimes when we build our homes we don’t always think about these important issues, however; you can review your home site and see if there are ways to make alterations that could help before you have a fire.
If you are uncertain if roads leading to your home or your drive way would pose a problem for your local fire department in the event of a fire, contact them with any questions you might have. Don’t wait until you have a fire to check out these items.
Every dead end street or long drive way should have a turnaround area designed as a “T” shape or a circle that would be large enough for fire trucks and equipment to tum around.
Another thing you can do is to clear back vegetation at least 1 0 feet from roads and at least 5 feet from drive ways. Cutting back overhanging branches above the road will help.
Just remember, what you do today could help firefighters find your home and protect it.
Any small delay might be the difference between saving your home and losing it.
If you would like to have a Firewise meeting conducted, please contact Brenda Keen at 662-242-5173. Firewise is sponsored in partnership with the Winston County Board of Supervisors and the Mississippi State Extension Service, Winston County.