A Message from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, NFPA Honorary Chair, Fire Prevention Week ...
"When I went to the movies with my mother as a young boy, she would sometimes cover my eyes with her hand and ask, 'Can you tell me where the exits are?' She made it a game that was fun, but she was serious about teaching the lesson. I've always remembered it, because it's a very important one.
"No matter where people are, everyone needs to know how to escape safely if fire should break out. That's why I've joined the non-profit National Fire Protection Association in its public safety efforts during Fire Prevention Week 2000.
"NFPA's campaign is called 'Fire Drills: The Great Escape!' Its goal is to encourage people everywhere to plan and practice their own fire drills, especially in their homes, where eight out of 10 fire deaths occur.
"When was the last time you had a fire drill? Please, take a few minutes to walk through your home with your family and identify at least two escape routes in case a fire blocks one of them. Then practice using them, and choose a specific place outside to assemble and make sure that everyone is safe and wait for the fire department. Also, if you haven't done it lately, test your smoke alarms to be sure they're working.
"I hope everyone will take this message to heart. Fire is fast -- so fast, you may have only a few moments to get out. However, if you react quickly, you can survive a fire. Fire drills really are the 'Great Escape.' Planning ahead and practicing carefully are the keys to survival."