October 6-12 was Fire Prevention Week, and this year’s theme was, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The campaign is designed to educate people on 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 from 2012 to 2016, seven people died in home fires every day.
“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “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.
Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go. No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.
The Mandan Fire Department holds an annual “Fire Prevention Open House Night” in early October and holds a fire truck parade through the town.
For more information and free resources about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.fpw.org.