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Here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared for such an emergency:

1. Make your home fire-safe.

• Smoke detectors -- save lives. Install a battery-powered smoke detector on each level of your home, as well as in the garage.

• Use the test button to check each smoke detector at least twice a year. When necessary, replace batteries immediately.

• Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

2. Plan your escape routes.

• Determine at least two ways to escape from every room in your home.

• Make or purchase rope or chain ladders to use to climb out of rooms above the first floor, and practice using them.

• Select a location where everyone would meet after escaping your home.

• Discuss what you would do about family pets if you need to escape from a fire.

3. Conduct periodic fire drills.

• Remember: crawl low under the smoke to escape. Teach small children how to do this.

• Close the door as you leave a room and feel closed doors before you enter a room. A hot door probably means the room on the other side is in flames.

• Practice the stop-drop-and-roll way to put out flaming clothing.

• Get everyone out quickly. In a real fire, escape first -then call the fire department.

4. Protect your home against wildfire.

• Create a safety zone or fire break around your home. Keep your roof clear of accumulated leaves and pine needles.

• Keep tree limbs clear of power lines.

• Store firewood away from the house.

• Install outside faucets.

• Have water hoses on hand.

• Don’t do any outside burning within 25 feet of your home.

• Keep the legal description of your property (Section, Township and Range), and the Mississippi Forestry Commission Fire Emergency Number 1-888-823-3473, near your telephone.


• Call 911 immediately.

• Call 1-888-823-3473 (Mississippi Forestry Commission’s fire emergency number).

• Get everyone (and pets) out of the house.

• If time permits, wet down grounds, house and roof in line with approaching fire.

• Once outside, do not return to try and save personal items. Fires can move quickly and you may get trapped inside.

• Stay calm and remember that property can be replaced, your life cannot.