If you have a reported home fire today, you’re more likely to die than you were in 1980. This startling fact is attributed to several factors, including the way homes are built and the contents in them. Open floor plans and a prevalence of modern synthetic furnishings contribute to homes burning faster, with the fires producing deadly smoke and gases within moments. You may have as little as two to three minutes to escape a home fire today, as compared to eight to 10 minutes years ago.
These concerns prompted NFPA to create “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.™” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2018. It emphasizes three basic but critical messages:
• Look for places fire can start
• Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
• Learn two ways out of each room
Because we have reduced the overall number of fires, there is a general complacency and lack of action around home fire preparedness and planning. Our goal for Fire Prevention Week is to make sure people recognize that fire remains a very real risk, and that everyone needs to take action to protect themselves and their families.
Looking for potential fire hazards in the home, making sure your smoke alarms are working properly, and having a home escape plan that everyone has practiced – these actions can dramatically reduce the loss from home fires.
For fire departments working to promote Fire Prevention Week locally, visit www.firepreventionweek.org for a wealth of information and resources. As the campaign fast approaches, we’ll be posting content on social media to communicate the fire safety messages behind “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” You can also help spread the word by liking, sharing and retweeting these resources!