October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week gives the fire service the opportunity to reach out to the community and empower its citizens to prevent home fires and protect their families. This year’s theme, “Have 2 Ways Out!” reminds us how important it is to have two ways out of every building we’re in – especially our homes, where most fires take place.
No one thinks fire will happen to them, yet according to data from the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS), there were 29,110 fires reported in Massachusetts during 2011 causing 54 civilian deaths, 2 fire service deaths, 323 civilian injuries, 422 fire service injuries and an estimated $217 million in property damage. That’s why it is so important to practice good fire safety by staying in the kitchen when cooking, not overloaded electrical outlets and taking care of our heating systems. It’s also important to be prepared by installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, which give you time to escape, and to make and practice a home escape plan, so everyone will know what to do in an emergency.
- State Fire Marshal Coan Offers Safety Tips for Fire Prevention Week October 7-13, 2012
- Local Fire Prevention Week Events
- U. S. Fire Administration Focus On Fire Safety has good information for Fire Prevention Week.
- NFPA's Focus on Fire Prevention Week provides excellent information for parents, children, teachers, and firefighters to teach fire safety and prevention.
- SAFE Kids USA® also offers resources on fire prevention.
State Fire Marshal Coan offers the following tips for fire safety:
- Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with your family.
- Draw a floor plan of your home, locating all possible exits.
- Keep all possible exits free of obstacles
- Have two ways out of each room, the main escape route, which should be the fastest and easiest way out of your home, and a second way out like a window.
- Choose one meeting place for your family, usually out front, where you can greet arriving firefighters.
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- All home in Massachusetts are required to have smoke alarms and most are required to have carbon monoxide alarms .
- Take care of your smoke alarms: vacuum out dust from the alarms and press the test button once a month.
- Change the batteries on your smoke alarms twice a year, when you change the clocks.
- Replace your smoke alarms with new ones every 10 years.
- Replace your carbon monoxide alarms with new ones every 5-7 years.
Check out these additional resources from DFS:
What you can do to celebrate Fire Prevention Week:
- Have a home fire drill! Families should practice their home escape plans to make sure they know how to get out safely both night and day. So, pick a date, make a plan, and practice it.
- Fact Sheets on Fire Safety – easy to read fact sheets on fire safety from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
- Young Heroes – read about youngsters who have saved themselves and others in real-life emergencies using what they learned in school.
- Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) - Many fire departments work with classroom teachers to present fire safety lessons through this program.
Call 1-877-9NO-FIRE to reach the Public Education Hotline in the Division of Fire Safety.