In a partnership spanning more than 90 years, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)—the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week—unite to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape™”. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2022. This year’s theme brings quick action safety measures front of mind for residents to utilize in the event of a home fire.
CAL FIRE urges all residents to incorporate this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme because homes can burn fast. In some instances, you may have as little as two minutes or less to safely escape a home fire once the smoke alarm sounds. After all, you plan for vacations, holidays, and weekly meals, why not plan to save your life and those around you in the event of a home fire?
“Too many lives are lost in home fires each year in California,” said State Fire Marshal Chief Mike Richwine. “According to a newly-released NFPA report, U.S. home fire deaths hit a 14-year high last year, marking the critical importance of Fire Prevention Week and the reminder to plan and practice a home fire escape so that action can be taken when the smoke alarm sounds.”
There are two key factors critical to safely escaping a home fire: early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Accordingly, this year’s Fire Prevention Week concept offers a blueprint to guide you and yours safely and swiftly out of a home fire. Invest a little time now so that you and yours are ready for the fire that won’t wait.
Some action items you can take to equip your home and plan your escape are:
- Make the first Saturday of each month “Smoke Alarm Saturday” – a working smoke alarm will clue you in that there is a fire, and you need to escape.
- Strategically install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, every level of the home and the basement.
- Test the alarms regularly by pressing the test button and change the battery if there’s no sound or the sound is low. If your smoke alarm chirps, change the battery immediately.
- Develop a home fire escape plan and rehearse it with all family members at least twice a year!
- Map the escape route including windows and doors—make sure the route is free of obstacles.
- Predetermine an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance in front of your home.
- Everyone should know the fire department’s emergency number and how to call when they’re safely outside.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and general fire prevention practices, visit www.fpw.org.