If your home caught fire, would you know what to do to keep your family safe?
Across the country, fire departments are taking part in "National Fire Prevention Week" to ensure you are never caught unprepared.
Here at home, our firefighters are busy educating the public on the helpful tips to keep your family safe.
It's not a stretch to say a firefighter's job is difficult, but it can be painful when they learn a family they are trying to help still has a loved one caught in the blaze.
"We go to scenes where the family is standing outside. The first thing we do is ask, "Is everybody here?" The answer we want to hear is, "yes," said Panama City Beach Firefighter, Garrett Jackson.
But too many times, Jackson said, families are caught unprepared when the unthinkable happens.
Each year more than 4000 Americans die in fires; something Jackson said is preventable through proper planning.
"If an emergency were to happen, they're obviously not planned. But, if your escape route is planned, you're a head up," said Jackson.
A home fire can occur anytime and anyplace inside your home, especially in the kitchen. If it does happen, the fire department said your biggest enemy is time, which is why they suggest creating a family escape route, making sure that you can get out of every room in less than thirty seconds
"Now that I have kids of my own, I understand the importance of fire safety and prevention," said Jackson.
Now, this father of two is joining his fellow firefighters on a mission to educate kids and get them involved in hands on safety techniques.
"Hopefully those kids can go home and tell their parents, "Look, here's my meeting place. Here's my escape route." The parents will also have a huge heads up," said Jackson.
Ultimately, Jackson says "National Fire Prevention Week" is more than just 7 days in October. It's wisdom to last a lifetime.
For more on Fire Prevention Week, visit these links: