Fire Prevention Week Oct. 8-14: Plan TWO Ways Out!

Every year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides valuable reminders about the dangers of fires and strategies for preventing them. This year, Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14. The theme is: Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out! Families are provided with tips and strategies for making an action plan on what to do if a fire occurs. Home fires are a genuine threat in the U.S. In 2015, fire departments responded to a home fire every 86 seconds, on average. Fires in home structures caused 78% of the 3,280 civilian deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2015.

It is highly advised to have an Annual Chimney Cleaning to be sure that any creosote or obstructions (animal nests) are removed from your chimney. Prior to using your stove or fireplace each season please get a full Chimney Inspection which will assure you that the entire system is in good working order.

The Event that Inspired Fire Prevention Week

The goal of Fire Prevention Week is to prevent a fire tragedy from occurring. The annual focus on fire safety that takes place usually the first week of every October commemorates the Great Chicago Fire that lasted for two days in early October of 1871. More than 250 lives were lost and 17,400 structures were destroyed, leaving 100,000 people homeless. The most devastating fire that ever occurred in the U.S. occurred in Northeast Wisconsin, also in October 1871. In that tragic forest fire, dubbed the Peshtigo Fire, at least 1,152 lives were lost. It occurred on the same night as the Chicago Fire, which was famously rumored to be caused by Ms. O’Leary’s cow. The cow tale could be why the Chicago fire overshadowed the Peshtigo Fire in history.

Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!

The NFPA says that seconds count in a fire because they can make the difference between surviving or tragically not surviving a home fire. This week’s focus on safety encourages everyone to devise an escape plan. By being prepared with a plan for what to do before such a frightening event as a fire occurs, people can waste less time getting safely out of their home. Here are some tips on planning two ways out:

·      Draw a map of your house as a family project, and mark two exits from every room as well as a path to the outside from every exit. There is a downloadable online grid at the NFPA website for Fire Safety Week that makes it easy to map a home.

·      Every six months, practice your home fire drill. Conduct the first drill of the year during the nighttime and the second one in the daytime, with everyone practicing different ways out.

·      Help children understand that they may need to escape on their own, in case an adult is unable to help.

·      Make sure the fire department is able to find your home. The address should be clearly marked and easy to find.

·      Close doors behind you when leaving, to potentially help slow down the spread of fire, heat, and smoke.

·      Everyone should stay outside once outside. Never return to a burning building.

Another Safety Tip from NFPA

The NFPA as well as the Chimney Safety Institute of America both recommend that homeowners with fireplaces get a chimney inspection every year. This is considered a crucial step in safety for owners of fireplaces. Contact the professional chimney technicians at Chimney Solutions for all of your chimney needs, including annual chimney inspections and chimney cleaning. We care about your safety.

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