It’s wise to plan ahead

Published 7:52 pm Saturday, October 19, 2013

Every home needs an EDITH.
In case you don’t know, EDITH is an acronym for exit drills in the home. An EDITH can save lives. That’s why every home should be home to an EDITH.
At this time of the year, many folks are thinking about football, the N.C. State Fair and the approaching holiday season. It’s also time for area students to develop EDITHs for their homes.
Fire safety is serious business. Ask any firefighter.
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,375,000 fires in 2012. Those fires resulted in 2,855 civilian fire fatalities, 16,500 civilian fire injuries and an estimated $12.4 billion in direct property loss. There was a civilian fire death every three hours and four minutes, and a civilian fire injury every 32 minutes in 2012, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Home fires caused 2,380, or 83 percent, of the civilian fire deaths last year. Fires accounted for 4 percent of the 31,854,000 total calls. Seven percent of the calls were false alarms; 68 percent of the calls were for aid such as EMS.
In recent years, Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS has sponsored contests in which students develop EDITHs for their families.
The plans must be functional and show locations of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. The drawings also must depict an outside meeting place for family members to gather in case of a fire.
Students who submit the best plans are rewarded, but the contest is never about the rewards. It’s about saving lives.
Is there anything more important?