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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported 365,000 and 2,380 deaths associated with home structure fires last year alone, 50 of which were in Minnesota. That bears a call to attention when it comes to planning for an escape in case of fire. Fires can take over a home in a matter of seconds, which means that could be all the time you have to get out. Here are some tips to help you have a plan in case of fire.

One preventative measure you can take is to schedule annual cleaning and inspection of your chimney -- even if you don't use it.

One preventative measure you can take is to schedule annual cleaning and inspection of your chimney — even if you don’t use it.

Sound the alarm. Install smoke detectors outside of every room in the house and in central gathering places. Check those batteries every 6 months by pushing the test button on each detector.

Know your way out. You should have at least two exits for each room in the house (through a door or window). If you have children, it’s helpful to draw out a map of your home, marking all the doors and windows clearly and drawing up your escape route, especially from your child’s bedroom. Make sure you have a fire safety plan in place that everyone in your home knows about. We all hope to never have to use our plans, but it can make the difference between life and death.

Know your numbers. You shouldn’t be the only one who knows which house is yours. City codes usually state that your house number needs to be displayed clearly outside your home, either on the front of your home or on the mailbox so it can be seen clearly from the street. This is for safety purposes, that way the fire department can find your home quickly. And speaking of the fire department, make sure everyone in your home knows the correct phone number in case of emergency.

Know your appliances. Keeping your fireplace and chimney functioning properly is important to us because your safety is important to us. The NFPA and CSIA recommend annual chimney inspections and cleanings of to ensure that your chimney isn’t going to be the cause of a home fire. Contact your local fire department for other tips and measures you can take for fire safety.