Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15 this year, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) campaign motto is: “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”
The Origin of Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week has been sponsored by the NFPA since 1922, and it was made into a national observance beginning in 1925. This week was created in remembrance of a devastating event known as the Great Chicago Fire, which took place on October 8, 1871. According to the NFPA, the Great Chicago Fire “killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.”
The Importance of Fire Prevention Week
While Fire Prevention Week was created with the focus set on preventing fires as much as possible through safety practices, each year brings with it a new theme that is used to focus education and training on important aspects of fire safety.
This year, Fire Prevention Week is focused on planning fire escape routes and family action plans. Due to the way modern homes are built, they burn incredibly fast once a fire begins to spread. This leaves as little as 2 minutes for you and your family to evacuate in time, which is why it is of critical importance that you have these action plans in place. If everyone knows their escape routes and what to do once a fire starts, they have a better chance of getting out safely. One of the best things you can do for fire safety is to locate your escape routes, make an action plan, and then run family fire drills regularly to ensure that your plans work within the time limit. If any of your escape routes or action plans are making evacuation take too long, you’ll know ahead of time and can make adjustments until your drills are going smoothly.
For many, making an action plan can be fairly easy and won’t be difficult to implement and perfect. However, for those with vulnerable occupants, things can be a lot more difficult. For families with young children, elderly relatives that need assistance, or those who are disabled, an action plan needs to take this extra consideration into account. It can be harder for some people to get out of a burning home within 2 minutes, which means they will need help to evacuate safely, and this will need to be figured into your family action plan.
Making the Most of the Week
Fire Prevention Week is an excellent time to sit down with your family and begin establishing a family action plan if you don’t have one already. In Maryland, our weather has taken a sharp dive into the lower temperatures with a lot of cold rain in tow, which means many people will be turning on their furnaces, bringing out their space heaters, or lighting their fireplaces to add some warmth to their homes. These can increase the risk of a house fire, so it’s important to discuss how to operate these as safely as possible and practice good habits that lower the risk. In addition, know what to do and where to go through your family action plan and planned escape routes to prevent panic and make it as easy as possible for your family to escape in case a fire does happen.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting
people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.