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FIRE PREVENTION WEEK IS OCTOBER 7-13

FEMA AND U.S. FIRE ADMINISTRATION JOIN THE NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO HAVE TWO WAYS OUT

October 4, 2012

Home fires can happen at any time and can spread in just minutes, claiming the lives and property of those affected. During the week of October 7-12, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association, are encouraging our stakeholders and partners to have a fire escape plan. Families can protect their homes and loved ones from emergencies by making their homes safer now and throughout the year.

Hundreds of thousands of fires happen in and around American homes every year, killing or injuring thousands of people and causing untold damage to families and communities. In 2010 alone, a total of 362,100 residential fires resulted in 2,555 deaths, 13,275 injuries, and more than $6.6 billion in property loss. For more information on these and other fire statistics, visit: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/index.shtm.

The best way to prepare for a fire is to plan in advance and practice your family’s response. Here are some suggestions for how to get ready:

  • Check that all smoke alarms work; USFA recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms ordual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Make sure that there are two ways out of every room;
  • Make a home fire plan; and
  • Practice with family members including children, older family members, individuals living with a disability, or others who have access and functional needs so that every person knows how to use both ways to get to safety.

To prepare for a fire drill, families can draw a map of each level of their home showing all doors and windows. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. Discuss the map with everyone who lives in the home. Families should practice their home fire plan at least twice a year.

When practicing home fire plans, family members should try feeling their way in the dark or with their eyes closed. If the first way out is blocked, use the second way out. Practice getting low and go to the nearest exit. Family members should close the doors behind them and gather at a pre-planned outside meeting place near the road where first responders can see everyone.

Please help us to spread the word about fire safety planning and preparedness. For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit:

- National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org

- Ready.gov at Ready.gov/fires

- U.S. Fire Administration at www.usfa.fema.gov. View a USFA fire drill video at http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/9989

Posted 10:54 AM  View Comments

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