Fire Prevention Week
The Abilene Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)—the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years—to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
NFPA statistics show that in 2017 U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016. The majority of US fire deaths (4 out of 5) occur at home each year.
Fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are the locations where people are at greatest risk from fire. Residents who have planned and practiced a home fire escape plan are more prepared and will therefore be more likely to survive a fire. Here are some tips to create an escape plan:
- Drawing a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows.
- Going to each room and pointing to the two ways out.
- Making sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out.
- Teaching children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
- Establishing a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting.
- Having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.