This is National Fire Prevention Week, and Casper Fire-EMS wants to remind folks that when it comes to fires, "Every Second Counts". That's the theme of this year's effort, and Captain Justin Smith of Casper Fire-EMS says there are a number of important safety points to keep in mind.

Fire Behavior Has Changed In Recent Years

"It used to be that we furnished our homes with things that were natural products, so they were leather, wood, and cotton and wool," says Smith,  "and now the vast majority of things we put in our homes are hydrocarbon based materials and they burn hotter and they burn faster, they're plastics. And so what used to take a half hour in terms of fire behavior, when we had an entire room flash over, it only takes three minutes now. And that's why every second counts."

Plan Two Ways Out.

You should always start with an escape plan, and part of that plan is knowing two ways out of every room, then "making sure those two ways out are reliable," says Smith,"establishing a meeting place, and then practicing that plan. It enables us to find that window that's painted shut and some of the other things we need to modify to make sure we're going to be able to get out fast."

Close Before You Doze

Fire officials say that especially now with fires spreading and growing quickly, it's even more important that we sleep with the door closed. Doing so takes ventilation away from the fire. "We're keeping the oxygen in a place to keep us safe for a little bit longer and not feeding that fire," Smith points out. "Plus, what we're doing is we're blocking that hate from entering the space that we're sleeping in so we can in fact escape because we're trying to buy that time. Every second counts."