Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, is just around the corner! This year’s campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”, works to better educate the public about the importance of home escape planning and practice while recognizing the potentially heroic impact of everyday people who put these messages into action.
Here are key reasons behind this year's focus on home escape planning and practice:
- Today’s home fires burn faster than ever, which is largely the result of several contributing factors, including the construction/design of newer homes, and the use of synthetic materials in modern products and furnishings.
- Studies show that in the past, people had approximately 17 minutes to escape a typical home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Now they may have as little as two minutes to get out safely.
- While the number of reported U.S. home fires in 2018 is half that in 1980, the death rate per 1000 reported fires has remained fairly steady, reflecting the continued challenges of safely escaping today’s home fires.
- Home is the place people are at greatest risk to fire, but it’s the place they feel safest. About 80% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in homes.
Overall, we know that home escape planning and practice can deliver potentially life-saving outcomes.
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. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.
To all the fire departments, organizations and groups preparing to launch Fire Prevention Week in their communities this October, we wish you the best of luck. And to all the people who develop and practice a home escape plan with their households as a result of learning about this year’s campaign, please know your efforts truly are heroic!
For more Fire Prevention Week details and resources, visit fpw.org.