Structure fires have claimed the lives of four people in Oklahoma City this year and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
OKC firefighters are now re-emphasizing safety tips for people in their homes in the event of an emergency.
On top of making sure you sleep with your bedroom door closed, fire officials say it’s important to make sure you have two ways out of every room.
In an apartment fire Wednesday morning at the Heights on 44th Apartments in Del City, one woman escaped jumping through first floor window. Sunday morning at the Quail Ridge Apartments in Oklahoma City one man saved his life by jumping from a second floor balcony. And in November, at The Commons Apartments in Norman, an OU student used a rope to escape a fire that spread to his third story apartment.
Oftentimes, Major Lesley Norman with OKCFD says, one of the ways out of a bedroom in the event of a fire is a window.
“They have ladders, that’s an additional tool you can use,” says Norman. He goes on to say, “You can YouTube videos, you can tie sheets together, but do you know how to tie a knot. In some of the presentations we have, windows are an excellent way to get out but do we know how to open them?”
OKC firefighters say it’s important to make sure windows work and you have the proper tools and skills at your disposal. Sometimes those tools can be things like ropes or ladders. Norman says these tools are only effective with proper training.
"Are the ladders necessary, are they hazardous? Yes,” Norman says, i"f you’ve never used a ladder, then it is dangerous. But if you’re put in a situation where you have to jump or use this ladder, then it’s always better to have it available to you than not.”
OKCFD is one of many departments throughout the metro that offers free smoke detectors and installation to city residents. Contact your local department to learn about similar programs.
Fire officials say waking up to a smoke detector may buy you enough time to save your life.