By: Roger Mari
(KHNL) - It's fire safety month in Hawaii and the push is on to make sure everyone knows how to protect themselves from fire hazards.
Fire departments on Oahu answered more that 15-thousand calls for fires last year. Fires also caused more than 21-point-3-million dollars in losses on Oahu, up 33 percent from 2005. There are some simple ways to cut these losses.
The first line of defense is installing a smoke alarm. A fire in Wilhemina Rise in August could have been worse.
"I heard the fire alarm, thank god they worked, then I ran out and saw the fire, it was pretty big," said fire victim Kelly Ferreira.
Not all fires end without tragedy. On Oahu alone, fires caused aproximately 74 deaths and injuries last year.
Having an escape route planned in case of a fire can also be effective. In Nanakuli, one family had a difficult time locating a small child during this fire in September.
A designated area to meet is recommended so that family members are reassured that everyone is out of the house.
"So we ran around looking for the son someone said look underneath the house so we saw him and dragged him out," said Nankuli resident Matthew Maui.
When a fire breaks out it can often spread quickly leaving very little time to reach safety. Which means, every second counts.
"The fire started so quickly within a matter of 30 seconds the house was on fire," said fire victim Jaime Ferreira.
Other ways to help increase the chance of survivng a house fire is to determine two ways to escape from every room of the home, and practice evacuating at least twice a year.