The Trophy Club 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 from 2012 to 2016.
“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.
While NFPA and the Trophy Club Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Interim Fire Chief Gary Cochran. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
The Trophy Club Fire Department is hosting a special event in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” the Fire Station Open House will be on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 10 AM – 2 PM.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week in Trophy Club, please contact the Trophy Club Fire Department. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.fpw.org.
Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice
Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practiced before a fire strikes.
Home fire escape planning should include the following:
- 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
Home fire escape practice should include the following:
- Pushing the smoke alarm button to start the drill
- Practicing what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast.
- Practicing using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave
- Never going back for people, pets, or things
- Going to your outdoor meeting place
- Calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone
- Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.
- The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
- Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months.
- Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires.
- All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from heating equipment.
- Have a 3-foot (1-meter) “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
- Have a qualified professional install heating equipment.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
- If a wildfire is threatening your home:
- Create a plan for evacuation that includes alternate routes out of the danger area.
- Have prepacked kits with essentials such as medicine, family records, credit cards, a change of clothing, and food and water.
- Create a family communication plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of