This year fire prevention week is observed on Oct. 7-13.
The main focus of Fire prevention week is to promote fire safety and prevention; however, we should practice fire safety all year long. Most potential fire hazards go undetected, because people simply do not take steps to fireproof their homes. Majority of bedroom fires are caused by misuse or poor maintenance of electrical devices, careless use of candles, smoking in bed, and children playing with matches and lighters. Most potential hazards can be addressed with a little common sense.
According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.ORG), “from 2011-2015, fire departments in the U.S. responded to 358,500 homes structural fire per year, causing 12,300 civilian fire injuries and 6.7 billion dollars in direct damages. Home fires caused 93 percent of all structural fire deaths and 80 percent of all fire deaths in the U.S. On average of seven people died in U.S. home fires per day”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is, “Look, Listen, learn: Be aware fire can happen anywhere.” Awareness provide the opportunity for us to mitigate problems, thus prevent fire disasters from occurring, keeping ourselves and others safe.
LOOK: Look for places that could cause fires and address the problem. For example, is the stove left on unintended, Heaters should be kept 3 feet away from combustibles materials and should shut off automatically if fall over. All electrical work must always be done by qualified electrician. Also, items like appliances or electric blankets should not be operated if they have frayed power cords, and electrical outlets should never be overloaded.
LISTEN: Know the sound of smoke alarms and other emergency evacuation signals, and understand what to do whenever they activated. Make preparation for children, older adults and people with disabilities, who may need assistance to get out whenever a fire or smoke detector activated during a fire.
LEARN: An excellent concept to exercise learning for emergency purposes is to picture the way one enters a room, store, hotel etc.
Imagine that the door entered is blocked, then envision another exit out of the room if there is a fire. Always practice two ways to escape all buildings if there is an emergency, weather at home or any public buildings. Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys.
If you suspect that a child is playing with fire, check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.
First Coast Navy Fire & Emergency Services Fire Department is working in coordination with (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce potentially life-saving messages.
One key fundamental home fire preventative measure is, home escape planning. This is a basic concept, but can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation. Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory.
According to Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
In support of Fire Prevention Week, First Coast Navy Fire & Emergency Services encourages all NS Mayport personnel to develop a plan and practice it.
A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA and the First Coast Navy Fire & Emergency Services Fire Department offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
•Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
•Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
•Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
•Make sure the address of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
•Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
•Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look, Listen, Learn. Be aware, fire can happen anywhere”: visit “firepreventionweek.org.”
In support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign, First Coast Navy Fire & Emergency Services is hosting the following events:
Thursday, Oct. 11
9 a.m., No fire, Multipurpose Fire Extinguisher Training (Sign up via ESAMS)
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Base-wide “unannounced” fire drills
Friday, Oct. 12
10 a.m.-1 p.m., Base-wide “unannounced” fire drills
2:30 p.m., Fire Drills at Youth Centers (Bldgs. 1326 and 2084)
Saturday, Oct. 13
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fire Department “Open House” tours, bldg..1607.