Did you know that October 9-15 is Fire Prevention Week, a nationally observed fire and life safety campaign? The Coppell Fire Department and Life Safety Park are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ‑‑ the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week ‑‑ to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape,” which reinforces the critical importance of developing a home escape plan with all members of a household and practicing it regularly.
According to NFPA data, home — the place people feel safest from fire — is actually where they are at greatest risk, with three-quarters (74 percent) of all U.S. fire deaths occurring in homes. When a home fire does occur, it’s more likely to be serious; people are more likely to die in a home fire today than they were in 1980.
“Today’s homes burn faster and hotter than they used to, minimizing the amount of time people have to escape safely,” says Coppell Fire Chief Kevin Richardson. “In a typical home fire, you may have as little as two minutes to get out from the time your smoke alarms sound.”
The Fire Prevention Week 2022 theme, “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape,” promotes potentially life-saving messages that can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Developing a home escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it regularly ensures that everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds and uses that time wisely.
Following are key messages behind this year’s “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape” theme:
- Make sure your home escape plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
- Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound.
- Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
- Have an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance away from your home where everyone should meet once safely outside. Once you’re out, stay out!
- Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.
While NFPA and the Coppell Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere. “Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” says Chief Richardson. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the fire alarm sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.