Look, Listen, Learn!: Oct. 7-13 is National Fire Prevention Week
FPW 2018: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”
Did you know that if you have a reported fire in your home, you are more likely to die today than you were a few decades ago? In fact, the majority of U.S. fire deaths (four out of five) occur at home each year, and the fire death rate (per 1000 home fires reported to the fire department) was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.1
everyone. Additional risk factors include race, socio-economic status, education level, and geographic location.
That nearly universal appeal is why this year’s FPW theme is especially relevant. The goal of the campaign is to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:
“People take safety for granted and are not aware of the risk of fire,” sys Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Paying attention to your surroundings, looking for available exits in the event of a fire or other emergency, and taking the smoke alarm seriously if it sounds can make a potentially life-saving difference in a fire or other emergency situation.”
Carli continues, “While we’ve made significant progress in preventing home fires from happening, these statistics show that there’s still much more work to do when it comes to teaching people how to protect themselves in the event of one, and why advance planning is so critically important.”
“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere,” works to remind people that fires can and do still happen—at home, as well as other locations—and that there are basic but vitally important steps people can take to remain safe.
Be Safe and Smart: Additional Tips
In the U.S., on average, seven people die every day from house fires. In 2015 alone, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage.2
In many cases, this damage could have been mitigated—or prevented all together. A fire at home can start for many reasons—candles, cooking, electrical issues, heating, and smoking materials—to name a few. Because the causes are myriad, practicing fire prevention can keep you and your family safe. October 7-13, Fire Prevention Week 2018 (FPW 2018), is the perfect time to brush up on prevention tactics and prepare your family in case disaster strikes.
Here are a few additional tips to consider during this very important home safety week—and all year long.
Fire Safety and Prevention Tips:
1. First and foremost, install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home – including the basement. Three out of five home fire fatalities happen in homes with no or non-working smoke alarms.
2. Next, identify potential fire hazards. Do you have frayed or exposed electrical wires? Are space heaters located near curtains or other flammable materials? Fix what you can and know where other potential dangers lie.
3. Install fire safety windows and doors. If that is not an option, use fire retardant products to fire proof windows and doors. This slows down the fire and helps prevent it from spreading.
4. Plan and practice an escape route. Determine at least two ways to escape from your home and select a location outside for everyone to meet. Also, plan what to do with family pets and know who to call for emergency assistance.
5. Many children are not aware of potential fire hazards. Check out these fire prevention tips for kids to ensure proper fire safety and prevention is practiced by the entire family.
Develop an Escape Plan
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA offers these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
The National Fire Protection Association is the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, which is held every year the week of October 9 (the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire). To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.
Downloads courtesy of and press release content reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA.