Media Release: “Not Every Hero Wears A Cape” is this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme


October 7, 2019
“Not Every Hero Wears A Cape” is this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme
CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires. It’s important for every member of the community to take some time every October, during Fire Prevention Week, to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is announcing this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The goal is to educate everyone about the small - but important - actions they can take to keep themselves and those nearby safe.

Fire Prevention Week begins on Sunday, Oct. 6, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 12.

Gov. Jim Justice has shown his support for this important occasion, issuing a proclamation that formally recognizes the week of Oct. 6-12, 2019 as Fire Prevention Week in West Virginia. The proclamation also recognizes the month of October – as a whole – as Fire Prevention Month in the Mountain State.

While most of us enjoy watching superheroes saving the world in movies, the theme of Fire Prevention Week this year is that someone doesn’t have to “wear a cape” to be a hero. A hero can simply be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. Planning and practicing an escape from a home or workplace is a heroic and empowering task for all.

Here are some tips and good practices to follow, to keep you and your family safe in your home:

• Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practiced before a fire starts. 

    • A home escape plan should include the following:
       Two exits from every room in the home – usually a door and a window.
       Properly installed and working smoke alarms.
       A meeting place outside, in front of the home, where everyone will meet after they exit.
       A call to 911 or a local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
       A sample escape plan can be found at
  •  Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
     Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
     Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
     Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
     Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  •  Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. 
     Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
     If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
     Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months.
     Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires.
     All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
     Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
     Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
     Have a qualified professional install heating equipment.
     Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit
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