Every year since 1922 the NFPA has recognized Fire Prevention Week on the week of October 9th, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire. The Chicago Fire of 1871 killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 people homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000.
In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge made Fire Prevention Week a national observance. This year, FPW is October 6th-12th 2019. During FPW, the public is educated on fire safety and prevention. Learning how to prevent fires is extremely important for your safety and the safety of those around you.
“Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”
This year, the theme for Fire Prevention Week is, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape!” This theme highlights the importance of making a fire escape plan for your home and practicing what you can do during a fire to stay safe.
Make Your Home Escape Plan
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely after the smoke alarm sounds. When every second counts, it’s very important that you’re prepared and know what to do during a fire. Planning and practicing a home fire escape plan can help you make the most of the time you have to escape.
Here are some steps you should take when making a fire escape plan for your home:
- Draw a map of your home with all doors and windows.
- Visit each room in your house and find two ways out.
- Make sure that all doors and windows can open easily so you can use them to get outside.
- Make sure your home has working smoke alarms. Test them to see if they work.
- Pick a meeting place in front of your home.
- Talk about your escape plan with everyone in your home.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 911 or the local emergency number.
- Practice your home fire drill.
Be a Hero in Your Home & Community
According to an NFPA survey, only 1 out of 3 American households have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. This Fire Prevention Week, you can be a hero by taking small, but important actions to keep yourself, your family, and those around you safe from a fire. One of the easiest ways you can protect your loved ones is to plan and practice a home escape plan. When the smoke alarm sounds in an actual fire, it will be too late to start making a plan.
Interested in learning more about how you can participate in Fire Prevention Week? Visit the NFPA’s website for great resources and materials. Learn how to make an escape plan and raise public awareness about the importance of fire prevention.