Fire can happen anywhere, at any time – day or night. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a home fire occurs somewhere in the United States every 93 seconds, and a home fire death occurs every 3 hours and 10 minutes in the U.S.
This year’s National Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!,” will educate people about the different sounds smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms make and what action should be taken if an alarm sounds.
Why Was This Year’s Theme Selected?
Over the past year, with many students remaining home due to COVID-19 and learning through virtual/online methods, teachers were noting how many of their students’ homes had smoke alarms with the “low battery chirp” in the background. Virtual learning brought this problem to fire and life safety educators’ attention.
- When you hear the beep, know where to meet: Smoke alarms make a 3-beep sound when they detect smoke or fire conditions. This means everyone should get out and stay out and go to an agreed upon outside meeting place (a tree, neighbor’s house, sidewalk or driveway).
- Carbon monoxide alarms make a 4-beep sound.
- When your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm chirps, it means change the battery.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years or when they do not sound when tested.
- Replace carbon monoxide alarms every 5-7 years (or as recommended by the manufacturer).
- Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm.
- Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home.
- Half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep.
- Test alarms at least once a month by pushing and holding the test button.
- More than 150 people in the U.S. die every year from accidental non fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is colorless, odorless and invisible.
- As people turn on their heating appliances, the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning increases.
E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you that in a fire, seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragic injury or death. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take the time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire and steps they can take to prevent a fire from occurring.
About Fire Prevention Week
Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in the United States. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of Oct. 9, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.