It’s fire prevention week (Oct. 7-13), which means it’s a great time to test all the smoke alarms in your home, check (or purchase) fire extinguishers, look for — and correct — fire hazards, and review an escape plan with your family.
This year, the National Fire Protection Association’s theme is Have Two Ways Out: If a fire is blocking one exit, you’ll need an alternative way to escape a room. This could be another door or even a window. Escape planning and practice can save lives. According to the NFPA, “In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.”
The NFPA also offers more sobering statistics:
- According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
- Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, less than half actually practiced it.
- One-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out! ?Smoke Alarms
- Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
To help plan your escape route, download their free escape planning poster here.