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Oct 05, 2017 Return to Headlines

Plan Two Ways Out to Keep Your Family Safe

by Robbin Whachell |

COQUITLAM, BC, Oct. 5, 2017 – Does everyone in your household know how to escape if your home catches fire?

As Fire Prevention Week approaches Oct. 8 to 14, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is reminding residents that it’s important to plan out their escape, including a backup route, in case of fire.

“Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out” is the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, an annual public fire safety campaign conducted by fire departments across North America. Coquitlam Fire/Rescue takes part each year as part of its community education efforts.

In a fire, seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape or a tragedy. If an intended escape route is blocked, planning a second way out in advance can save precious seconds when lives are on the line.

Coquitlam residents are encouraged to create and practice an escape plan for their home, and get everyone in the household involved. Steps include:

  • Drawing a floor plan of the home that shows all doors and windows.
  • Marking down two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place in front of the home.
  • Making sure windows and doors are not blocked.
  • Conducting a practice drill with everyone in the home, starting by pressing the smoke alarm test button to sound the alarm.
  • Talking about and practicing the escape plan with all members of the household on a regular basis. 

A downloadable Fire Escape Plan handout and other fire safety information and resources can be found at

Smoke alarms are also an important part of a home escape plan, because they provide early warning when smoke starts to fill the home.

B.C. law requires all homes to have smoke alarms. Landlords are also required to ensure their rental properties have working alarms.

Smoke alarms are proven to save lives, but only if they are functioning. Make sure your household is protected by:

  • Having a working smoke alarm on each floor;
  • Replacing batteries each spring and fall when the clocks change (unless batteries are the 10-year type);
  • Testing smoke alarms monthly and keeping them free of dust (tip: vacuum occasionally); and
  • Replacing smoke alarms at least once every 10 years.

For more information about smoke alarms or fire prevention, contact the Fire Prevention Division at 604-927-6433 or visit


Media contact:
Denise Ziebart
Fire Inspector
City of Coquitlam


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