Fire Prevention Week: Plan Two Ways Out

Fire Prevention Week 2017 reminds Albertans to practise a home escape plan with a second way out of rooms and their home.

Fire Chief Ken Block, Fire Prevention Officer Martin Landry and Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson watch an Edmonton family draw up their home fire escape plan.


While a door is the most obvious evacuation route from a room, home or apartment, this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every second counts: Plan two ways out” urges Albertans to think carefully about having another way out.

Practise your fire escape plan

  • draw a map of your home, including all doors and windows
  • find two ways out of every room
  • make sure doors and windows are not blocked
  • choose an outside meeting place
  • push the test button to sound the smoke alarm (test smoke alarm monthly)
  • practise your fire drill with everyone in the home
  • get outside to your meeting place

“Families that have a home fire escape plan and practise it are much more likely to get out of their homes safely. I’ve made it a priority in my home to have a plan in place to protect my family, and I think it’s important for all Albertans to do the same. Knowing what to do and where to go, especially if your doors are blocked, can save lives.”
~ Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs

“A fire escape plan needs to be practical and easy for your family to follow. This also means having a complete plan for safely using an alternate escape such as a window. If you have questions about using a second escape route when making your plan, contact your local fire department for advice.”
~ Kevan Jess, Acting Alberta Fire Commissioner

“During an emergency, there is no time to stop and think about an escape route. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services encourages everyone to prepare an escape plan and practise the escape plan in order to spare valuable seconds in a real emergency. It is especially important to determine a meeting place close by that everyone is familiar with and is easy to remember so that every family member can be accounted for in the event you are separated.”
~ Ken Block, Fire Chief, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services

During Fire Prevention Week, kindergarten to Grade 6 students from across Alberta complete the “Fire Safety Starts With You” activity book, which teaches early elementary students important life-saving steps they can take to protect themselves, their families and their homes from fire. The Government of Alberta’s Office of the Fire Commissioner and ATCO distributed more than 270,000 activity books across the province this year.

“Fires can be deadly and devastating. That’s why we’re pleased to work with fire departments across Alberta, participate in Alberta Fire Prevention Week and support the Fire Prevention Week Children’s Program. Fire prevention should be a part of our everyday lives. Let’s keep everyone safe by making sure there are two ways out of every room in our house in case of fire, smoke or carbon monoxide alarm. Every second counts.”
~ Dean Reeve, senior vice president & general manager, ATCO Gas Distribution

Quick facts

  • Fire Prevention Week 2017 runs from Oct. 8 to 14, which marks the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
  • In 2016, there were 4,324 fires in Alberta resulting in 29 deaths and 166 injuries.
  • Cooking fires, fires caused by smokers’ materials and fires involving electrical wiring in the home accounted for 68 per cent of all home fires from 2007 to 2016. Other common fire causes include arson and deliberately set fires, heating equipment and appliances.
  • Properly maintained smoke alarms provide reliable, early notification allowing your family to escape and call the fire department.
    • From 2012 to 2016, the smoke alarm did not activate due to power failure (no battery, dead battery or disconnection from home wiring) in 27 per cent of the fires where a smoke alarm was present.