The Town of Huntington wants its residents to know how to react in a fire, so it has scheduled a townwide fire safety drill.
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., fire departments in the town will sound their sirens signaling the start of the drill — known as E.D.I.T.H, which stands for Exit Drill In The Home.
“It’s a program where we encourage families to practice an exit drill in the home,” Huntington Chief Fire Marshal Terence McNally said. “Practice fire safety tips: have a plan, check the door to make sure it’s not hot. If it’s hot, find an alternative exit out, such as a window, and have a common meeting place.”
Coordinated through the efforts of the town’s fire marshal and in conjunction with the 12 local volunteer departments and the volunteer fire chiefs council, the drill has been conducted for more than 40 years during October, which is National Fire Prevention Month. School districts partner in the effort by sending fire department-provided flyers home with children.
“We engage the younger kids in school to get their parents to practice fire safety,” McNally said.
In 2016, 1.342 million fires were reported in the United States, causing 3,390 civilian deaths, 14,650 civilian injuries and $10.6 billion in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association, a Quincy, Massachusetts-based nonprofit.
Dix Hills Fire Commissioner Larry Feld, who is also the department’s former chief, said the drill is an opportunity for people to be reminded of some basic fire-safety measures, such as the need to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.
“People need to be reminded that a fire can happen through no fault of their own,” Feld said. “This serves as a reminder that if there is a fire you should have an escape plan, know how to get out, have a meeting place; it’s a public service.”