The majority of fatal house fires strike at night, while people are asleep. Smoke detectors wake people up before smoke overcomes them. Be sure your home is equipped with at least one smoke detector for every level in your home. In case fire does start, everyone in your home should know how to escape. Plan two exits from every room of your home. The more escape routes you have, the better. Plan to have one place outside where all members of your family will meet after escaping. Once out, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor's house. Practice your escape routes at least once every six months. The more times children practice a fire drill, the better chance they will react correctly to a real fire. Make the drill as realistic as possible. If you have a home with a second level, be sure to have fire escape ladders in place to evacuate from the second story. Many fires can be prevented. In case a fire does break out, make sure your family will be awakened by smoke detectors, and that they have practiced how to properly escape. For additional information, contact the Mendota Fire Department at (815) 539-3434