October 7-13, 2018 is Fire Prevention Week
The Annapolis Fire Department encourages residents to
“Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere."
(Annapolis, MD) – 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 Annapolis Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, to promote 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 prevent and quickly and safely escape a home fire.
“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Fire Chief David Stokes of the Annapolis Fire Department. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference escape planning and practice can make and motivating them to action.”
Chief Stokes says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire. Look
for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify
potential fire hazards and take care of them. Listen
for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape
safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should
be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet. Learn
2 ways out of every room. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside
open easily and are free of clutter.
NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980. From January 1, 2018 to August 30, 2018, the news media have reported 1,651 home fire deaths according to the United States Fire Administration.
“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”
Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.
While NFPA and the Annapolis Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.
The Annapolis Fire Department and the Eastport Volunteer Fire Department are hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn.”, on Saturday, October 20th
from 12-4 p.m. at the Eastport Fire Station, 914 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403.
Events and Displays will include:
- Antique Fire Apparatus
- Sparky the Fire Dog
- Fire Hose House (participants spray water to extinguish a simulated home fire)
- Fire Station Tours
- Hands Only CPR & AED Class at 1 p.m.
- Auto Extrication Demonstration at 2 p.m.
- “Stop the Bleed” Bleeding Control Class at 3 p.m.
- National Preparedness Month information from the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management
- “Ask a Fire Marshal” with representatives from the City of Annapolis Fire Marshal’s Office
- Fire Safety House (model used to teach fire safety lessons)
- Canned food drive benefiting Backpack Buddies Program
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org
.The Annapolis Fire Department has a free home smoke alarm program offered to Annapolis City residents in need of smoke alarm checks and replacement. For more information visit www.annapolis.gov
and complete a form to have your smoke alarms checked.