October 12, 2023
Philadelphia residents should not be alarmed if they hear sirens blaring on Thursday night. The sirens are part of a citywide fire drill being conducted by the fire department.
All 63 of the city's fire stations will sound their alarms at 7:30 p.m. to indicate the start of the drill. Residents are encouraged to participate by testing their home escape plans, regardless of whether they can hear the sirens from their homes.
As part of a home escape plan, households should know two ways to get out of each room in their homes, be able to get outdoors within two minutes and have a designated meeting place outside. Residents are encouraged to walk through their homes and identify all possible exits, mark the locations of smoke alarms and talk to their children about fire safety.
The fire department recommends placing smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and the National Fire Protection Association suggests also adding smoke alarms inside and outside every bedroom to ensure anyone sleeping is alerted to a possible fire.
Home escape plans should be set in place in advance because homes can burn quickly. In some cases, there are as few as one or two minutes to safely escape.
The citywide fire drill is an extension of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 8-14 nationally.
Prior to the drill, firefighters will participate in a simulated fire response at a home on Richton Road in Northeast Philly at 6 p.m. The family will evacuate the home using their practiced escape plan as firefighters from Engine 33 and Ladder 31 respond to the fake fire.
Earlier this week, the fire department shared tips on cooking safety. People are advised to keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from hot things in the kitchen, make sure the area around the stovetop is clear of anything that could catch fire, use a timer to check on food, turn pot handles toward the back of the stove and not cook while drinking alcohol.
Anyone who needs smoke alarms can call 311 or fill out this online form and the fire department will install them for free.