ITHACA, N.Y. —  With National Fire Prevention Week around the corner, the Ithaca Fire Department is reminding residents to have plans in place in case of a fire because every second counts.

“In a fire, seconds count,” the Ithaca Fire Department said in a news release. “Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.”

With that in mind, this year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Working smoke detectors and emergency plans are essential, the IFD says. The end of Daylight Savings Time on Nov. 5 is a way to reminder to change the batteries of smoke alarms at home.

National Fire Prevention Week takes place between Oct. 8 and 14. It is recognized by the National Fire Protection Association and fire agencies across the country.

Here are a few tips to prepare for a fire.

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  •  Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  •  Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  •  Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

If a school or any group wants to schedule a public information session of firehouse tour, contact the Ithaca Fire Chief’s office at 607-272-1234 for an appointment.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.