Fire prevention week teaches families to prepare for disaster

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – When it comes to fire safety, preparation is can be the difference between life and death.

That's why the Harrison County Fire Service has some homework for families during the National Fire Prevention Week.

"We encourage people to do is try E.D.I.T.H. tonight. That stands for Exit Drills in the Home," said Harrison County Fire Marshall George Mixon.

According to the fire services, families should have a planned emergency exit route and a meeting place outside of the home.

"Try not to panic. Try to be under control. Make sure that you know what exit you're going to use and who is going to do what," said Mixon.

Another fire safety tip from Mixon is to find two exits in every room.  While the door is the obvious choice, the second route is less obvious and may even include the window.

"Do the kids know to do that? Do they know how to feel the door to see if it's hot and if it's hot, to go out the window?  If it's hot you might have a flash fire in front of you," said Mixon.

While several things can cause a fire, cooking is a common culprit.  Mixon said there are several ways to keep that under control.

"If your frying pan catches on fire, put a lid on it.  Take the lid, put it over the fire, and smother it."

He also said to keep a fire extinguisher nearby and remember to P.A.S.S. it over the fire: Pull the trigger, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, and spray side to side.

Because smoke detectors are also a fire safety must, the Harrison County Fire Service is offering free detectors to any county resident.

To receive a free detector, pick up a form at the nearest fire service office.

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