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Posted on: October 5, 2017

Do You Have a Home Escape Plan?

For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer or 571-233-1649
October 5, 2017

For Immediate Release:
Every Second Counts! Do you and your family know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds?

Fire Prevention Month two minutes



It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and smell of smoke. What do you do? If you don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape when the smoke alarm sounds. Home escape planning is critical because it ensures everyone knows how to exit the home quickly and safely. 

This year’s Fire Prevention theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to educate the public about the importance of developing and practicing a home escape plan. In coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), many of Loudoun’s Fire and Rescue Companies will reinforce these life-saving messages with the public at numerous fire and rescue open houses and activities throughout October. Additionally, firefighters will be visiting local area schools to talk to children firsthand about fire safety and home escape planning. 

Tuesday night, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors officially proclaimed October as Fire Prevention Month and joined fire officials to encourage all residents to develop and practice a home escape plan. “Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Linda Hale, Chief Fire Marshal. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”

fire prevention month BOS proclamation

A home escape plan includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place a safe distance from the home. Keep in mind that all homes should have working smoke alarms on every floor, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. 

When creating and practicing a home escape plan:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Select an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the home such as a tree, light pole, or mailbox.
  • Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year. Practice at night and during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Below is a listing of Fire Prevention Month activities in Loudoun County, for more information on fire and life safety visit

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 10am-2pm - Open House
Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company, 61 Plaza Street NE, Leesburg

Come join LVFC at our annual Open House Event. The day will include fire truck rides, station tours, raffle prizes, & you can meet Sparky! You can also expect to see Air Care, Leesburg Police, Virginia State Police, Fire Marshalls, and the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad Co. 13. Admission & lunch is FREE, see you there! More information can be found at 

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 11am-4:30pm - Open House
Sterling Volunteer Fire Company & Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad, 104 Commerce Street, Sterling

Stop by to check out safety demonstrations and information, ladder truck climb demonstration, tool demonstrations, and watch a car be cut apart! Spin the prize wheel to see what you win! Dress up like a firefighter, and then go spray the hose! Practice calling 911 so you are prepared for your next emergency! Sparky the Fire Dog will be on hand to make sure everyone has a great time! New this year is the Fire Safety Bounce House! Don’t forget to watch for us in the Annual Columbus Date Parade down Sterling Boulevard starting at 10am. More information can be found at 

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 12pm-4pm – Open House
Purcellville Volunteer Fire Company & Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad, 500 N Maple Ave, Purcellville

Come meet your local volunteers. We will have hands on kid’s activities, live demonstrations, moon bounce, fire truck rides, station tours, and food! For more information visit  or  

Sunday, October 15, 2017, 12p-3:45pm - Open House
Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, 20688 Ashburn Road, Ashburn


Join us. Fun and education for the whole family The event will feature, touch a truck, moon bounce, safety information, shoot the hose, lego station, CPR training game, food, and raffles. Off-site parking at Cedar Lane Elementary School, with shuttle bus service to the event. Visit for more information.  

 Sunday, October 15, 12pm-4pm - Open House
Lovettsville Volunteer Fire and Rescue, 12837 Berlin Turnpike, Lovettsville

Join us at our Annual Open House! Stop by and meet your volunteers, get a tour of the fire trucks and ambulances. Check out our live demonstrations. Fun for the whole family! Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat with us before you leave! For more information visit

Sunday, October 15, 2017, 1pm-4pm - Chili Cook Off
Hamilton Volunteer Fire Company, 39071 E Colonial Hwy, Hamilton

Do you think you make the best chili in Loudoun County? Enter your chili in the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department's Annual Chili Cook-Off and you could get your name on the trophy AND walk away with some prize money!  Can’t get a chili together? Join us anyway! There will be drinks, chili (obviously), sides, raffles, prizes, and bragging rights up for grabs! Adults-$5, Kids-$2. Email or visit  for more information.


Sunday, October 22, 2017, 1pm-4pm - Open House
Arcola Volunteer Fire and Rescue, 23675 Belmont Ridge Road, Ashburn

All are welcome to come join Smokey the Bear, and Sparky the Fire Dog at our Open House. Bring the whole family for fire engine rides, ambulance and fire station tours, safety demonstration, health checks, children’s activities, 911 simulator, and refreshments. For more information visit or call 571-258-3709.



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