EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Fire Department is recognizing Fire Prevention Week by providing tips on how to safely evacuate a structure that has been compromised.

Fire Prevention Week, held Oct. 9-15 this year, is annually sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and most professional fire services throughout the U.S. The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Fire won’t wait; Plan your escape.”

Las Cruces firefighters suggest following these tips to help prepare a safe escape if smoke or fire should compromise your home or workplace.

  • Create an escape plan for your home and workplace and share that plan with others.
  • Ensure all occupants of your home or workplace know the closest available exit points.
  • Make sure exit paths and doorways are free from clutter and can easily be navigated.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher available on every floor and near common trigger points for fire: the kitchen and garage.
  • Know how to properly use a fire extinguisher, but plan to evacuate if flames or smoke are overwhelming.
  • Plan how evacuations should be made from basements or floors higher than ground level.
  • Refrain from re-entering a burning structure for documents or personal possessions. Your safety could be compromised when re-entering a burning building.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month and replace them every 10 years.
  • Ensure that people with disabilities can easily exit a compromised structure or that a responsible adult is available to assist.
  • Ensure that security bars can easily and safely be opened from inside the home.