October 7-13 is National Fire Prevention Week, which is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) each year. This year’s theme, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere”, aims to help you learn how to prevent fires by taking three main steps:
- LOOK for hazards in areas that are prone to fires. Identify and fix potential fire risks, such as those found in the kitchen. Other common sources of fire include heating, electrical equipment, candles, and smoking materials. Knowing where and how a fire could start in your home can keep disasters away.
- LISTEN for the sound of the smoke alarm. If a fire occurs in your home, smoke alarms are your first line of defense. They cut your risk of dying in a fire by half. Smoke and heat take a few minutes to engulf your home, so you and your family must escape quickly if a fire alarm starts. When you hear a smoke alarm, go to your outside meeting place, which you should establish in your escape plan.
- LEARN two ways out of every room, usually a door or window. This is a step that’s part of making a fire escape plan. Your plan should also include setting a path from each exit to the outside. Also, ensure all doors and windows leading outside are free of clutter and open easily.
Fire safety is important for everyone, regardless of age, race, and socioeconomic status. Fire safety isn’t just for young children – people of all ages are also vulnerable. In fact, the risk of a non-fatal fire injury is highest for those between 20 and 49. This is why every member of a community should take some time during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they are well prepared to prevent fires and escape safely from one.
Learn more about Fire Prevention Week, as well as practical fire safety tips and resources to spread awareness on fire safety on NFPA’s website.