Media Release: Fire Prevention Week 2018: “Look, Listen, Learn”

10/5/2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 5, 2018
Fire Prevention Week 2018: “Look, Listen, Learn”
CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
 
The WV State Fire Marshal’s Office, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is announcing this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
Fire Prevention Week begins on Sunday, Oct. 7, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 13.
 
Although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk from fire. Four out of five U.S. fire deaths occur at home. A sense of overconfidence contributes to a complacency regarding home escape planning and practice.
 
This year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help them quickly and safely escape a fire:
• Look for places fire could start.
• Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
• Learn two ways out of every room.
While the NFPA and the WV State Fire Marshal’s Office are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere. So, no matter where you are, develop situational awareness. Look for available exits and, if an alarm sounds, exit immediately.

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.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.
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.
 
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