Fire Prevention Week

Did you know you may only have one to two minutes to safely escape a home fire? It’s essential that you have a plan and know exactly what to do with that limited time to get yourself and loved ones out in case of an emergency.

President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance in 1925. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health observance in the United States. This year, Fire Prevention Week begins on Sunday, October 6 and ends on Saturday, October 12. The theme of this year’s campaign (titled “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”) has a goal of educating everyone about the small actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. There is no better time than now to get educated, make a home escape plan, and start practicing. Some initial steps recommended by the NFPA to take are below.

  1. Draw a basic map of your home including doors and windows
  2. Walk to every room and identify two ways out of each one
  3. Test smoke alarms and make sure the batteries are not yet expired
  4. Designate a safe meeting place outside, like your mailbox or a special tree
  5. Post your plan on your fridge or somewhere your family will be reminded of it often

In addition to these tips, the following publications from the GPO Bookstore can help you prepare.

Teach lifelong safety habits at a young age. The Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Family Guide incorporates essential fire safety messages and skills that make a big difference in an emergency. In this guide, you’ll find information and tools to help your family practice fire safety at home, catchy phrases you can use to help your child remember important fire safety messages, and activities and ideas to help you practice fire safety skills together as a family. Make a family night out of fire safety! Pop some popcorn, order some pizza, and watch the Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Multimedia CD available in English or Spanish.

Looking for educational entertainment for your kids while they’re in the car, on a plane, or just hanging at home? Let’s Have Fun With Fire Safety from the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Fire Administration is an activity book that will entertain children while also providing valuable fire safety and prevention tips.

Fire safety and education is not just for young children. Adults ages 65 and older are more than twice as likely to die in fires as the Nation’s population as a whole. And those who are 85 or older are more than four times as likely to die in a fire as the general population. Fire Safety Checklist for Older Adults is designed to help seniors and their caregivers learn about fire safety.

Does your family have a fire safety plan? Where is your designated meeting spot? And what techniques do you use to engage your children in learning about fire safety? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.

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