Preventing fires is key to Life Safety of your loved ones. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) understands the importance of fire prevention, which is why they dedicate an entire week to the cause every October. This year, the week of October 7-13 is designated as fire prevention week. The NFPA encourages learning and the spread of awareness about the dangers of fires and how they can be prevented.
Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the week of October 9th since 1922, commemorating the devastating Great Chicago Fire. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge made Fire Prevention Week a national observance.
“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”
Every year, Fire Prevention Week runs a campaign to educate the public on fire safety. This year’s campaign, “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. Many cooking fires start when cooking is left unattended. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Remember to have chimneys and other cleaning equipment cleaned each year and turn off space heaters 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 in a fire by alerting everyone that there is a fire and giving them time to evacuate. Having smoke alarms in your home cuts 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. Every second counts when trying to safely escape a fire. Creating and practicing a fire 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 escape 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.