October Is Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week kicked off on October 7, 2018 and runs through October 13, 2018. During this week, the NFPA works to educate the public about fire safety and the dangers of fire. Make sure you and your loved ones take some time to learn proper fire safety methods during Fire Prevention Week.

On October 8th, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire broke out, taking the lives of more than 250 people and destroying the homes of more than 100,00 people. Fire Prevention Week was established as a national observance by President Calvin Coolidge in commemoration of this deadly fire. The purpose of fire prevention week is to educate people of all ages about the risk of death in a fire and provide educational resources to keep people safe.

“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”

Every year, Fire Prevention Week has a new campaign to educate the public on fire safety. This year’s theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” teaches three steps to reduce the chance of a fire and educates on safe escape if a fire does occur.

LOOK for Potential Fire Hazards

Take some time to look around in your home or business and identify possible fire hazards. The most common fire hazards are cooking, heating equipment, electrical equipment, candles, and smoking materials. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and many of these fires start when cooking is left unattended. Remember to have chimneys and other heating equipment cleaned each year. Turn off space heaters before leaving the house, before you leave the room, or go to sleep. Make sure you are using electrical equipment properly. Do not overload your outlets and use extension cords properly. If you or someone you live with is a smoker, only smoke outside and throw away butts and ashes safely.

LISTEN for Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are critical to Life Safety in the event of a fire. Smoke alarms work as the first line of defense by alerting everyone that there is a fire and giving them time to evacuate. Having smoke alarms in your home cuts your risk of death from a fire in half. Make sure to install smoke alarms in every level of your home and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms every month and replace them if they are more than 10 years old. Also, you should interconnect the alarms in your home so that all smoke alarms will go off simultaneously, alerting everyone in your home.

LEARN Your Escape Plan

Time is crucial when a fire occurs, and every second counts when trying to safely escape. Creating and practicing an escape plan for your home will lower the amount of time it takes you to escape in the event of a fire and will increase your chances of getting out safely. The general rule for escape plans is to have two ways out of every room. Usually these two exits are a door and a window.  You also should identify a path from each exit to the outside of your home and designate a safe meeting place for everyone to gather. Once you have created a home escape plan, practice it with your family at least twice a year.

Knowing fire prevention techniques can save lives. If you want to know more about fire prevention week take a look at many great fire prevention resources, visit the NFPA’s website.