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National Fire Prevention Week

Approximately 2,510 people die in home fires each year. During National Fire Prevention Week, look for places a fire could start, listen for the sound of an alarm and learn two ways out of every room.

Fire can happen anywhere

National Fire Prevention Week is observed the week of October 9 each year and commemorates the Great Chicago Fire (which started on October 8, 1871, destroyed thousands of buildings and killed an estimated 300 people). Proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925, National Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public safety campaign in America.

This year's theme is "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – Fire can happen anywhere." The purpose of this observance is to help spread awareness about how home fires start, what the risks are, and how to respond in the event of an actual 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 or office and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Did you know?

Approximately 2,510 people die in home fires each year. Of those, 1,480 people were in homes where smoke alarms were not present or not working properly. A quarter of those deaths could have been prevented with a new battery in the smoke alarm. A simple battery could have saved 370 lives!

The leading sources of home fires are:

  • Cooking (frying poses the greatest risk, and Thanksgiving is the peak for home cooking fires)
  • Smoking (which is the leading cause of home fire deaths)
  • Heating sources (involved in 1 in every 5 home fire deaths)

So take a moment when you go home today. Look around your home for heating sources that pose a threat and move or remove them. Check that your smoke alarms work properly and have fresh batteries, or install alarms if you don't have any. Be sure you know how to escape from each room in the event of an actual emergency. And when Thanksgiving comes, make sure you fry that turkey safely.

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – Fire can happen anywhere.

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