NFPA Stresses Fire Prevention Week 2018 Theme

"Because we have reduced the overall number of fires, there is a general complacency and a lack of action around home fire preparedness and planning. Our goal for Fire Prevention Week is to make sure people recognize that fire remains a very real risk and that everyone needs to take action to protect themselves and their families," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of outreach and advocacy.

Saying its latest statistics show the U.S. home fire death rate is higher today than in 1980, the National Fire Protection Association is stressing the importance of the theme it has created for this year's Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13. Someone who has a reported home fire today is more likely to die than he or she would have been in 1980 because of several factors, including the way homes are built and the contents inside them.

"Open floor plans and a prevalence of modern synthetic furnishings make homes burn faster, and the fires produce deadly smoke and gases within moments," explained Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of outreach and advocacy. She said a resident can have as little as two to three minutes to escape a home fire today as compared to eight to ten minutes years ago.

This concern prompted NFPA's theme for the week: "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere." NFPA said the theme "emphasizes three basic but critical messages":

  • Look for places fire can start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Learn two ways out of each room.

"This year's Fire Prevention Week messages point to the essentials of home fire safety. Looking for potential fire hazards in the home, making sure your smoke alarms are working properly, and having a home escape plan that everyone has practiced – these actions can dramatically reduce the loss from home fires," Carli said. She said people don't think they could have a fire, despite the fact that home is the place they're at greatest risk -- four out of five U.S. fire deaths occur in homes.

"Because we have reduced the overall number of fires, there is a general complacency and a lack of action around home fire preparedness and planning," she said. "Our goal for Fire Prevention Week is to make sure people recognize that fire remains a very real risk and that everyone needs to take action to protect themselves and their families."

A Fire Safety Guide for Youngsters
ADTSecurity.com created "Frankie's Guide to Fire Safety," a guide designed to educate youth about common fire risks through fun and interactive activities such as drawing escape routes and word searches.

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