Posted at: 10/09/2012 6:49 PM
By: Gordon Severson
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- In Southeast Minnesota we've had several fires over the past week, four in Olmsted County alone.
One caused more than $50,000 in damage.
That's why fire officials are eager to spread the message of fire prevention week.
It was 141-years-ago this week that one of America's worst fires, the Great Chicago fire, killed hundreds people.
That's why every year since fire officials have celebrated Fire Prevention Week.
"This year's message is to have two ways out," Assistant Fire Marshall Larry Mueller explains.
For years, fire fighters have stressed the importance of having an evacuation plan.
They're now urging families to have multiple planned exits.
"We should have two ways out of every room we're in. It's law that we have two ways out of every bedroom or sleeping room we're in," says Mueller.
They're guidelines that may seem boring, but could easily save your life.
Tuesday morning, a family in Northwest Rochester was saved because of a mother's quick thinking.
"She gathered her son who was home with her. They exited the house immediately then called 911 which is part of a great escape plan," Mueller says.
But Fire Prevention Week is much more than being prepared.
You've got to be well equipped as well.
"We pull the pin and make sure the hose is lined up," Fire Safety USA Owner Chadd Clarey says.
Making sure fire extinguishers are filled and ready to go.
While most families simply put one under their kitchen sink, experts now urge you to have one near your bed.
"Most of the time when we're at home we're sleeping. If a fire occurs at night while we're sleeping we like to have that fire extinguisher accessible," Clarey says.
You should also know how to use it.
Experts suggest using the simple acronym P.A.S.S
Pull the pin, aim, spray and sweep back and forth.
They also suggest checking smoke and co2 detectors making sure you're fully prepared for when disaster strikes.
As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Rochester Fire Department is hosting an open house.
Tuesday through Thursday you can visit any of the stations and participate in safety demonstrations and hands on activities.
The open house runs from 6:00-8:00 PM.