Fire Prevention Week recognized

Published 11:33 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

Suffolk Fire & Rescue is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years — to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”

Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and is being celebrated this year Oct. 6-12. The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

NFPA statistics show that in 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a home fire per day during 2012 to 2016.

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Fire Marshal Lt. Chuck Chapin said, “We can’t stress enough the importance of planning ahead.  In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

Safety tips Chapin wants to share with citizens include:

  • Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home.
  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.
  • Have an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
  • Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year.
  • Practice using different ways out.
  • Teach your children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
  • If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  • Call 9-1-1 from outside your home.

Fire prevention safety is a priority for the men and women of Suffolk Fire & Rescue throughout the year — not just during Fire Prevention Week — and Fire Marshal’s Office staff and firefighters are always available for scheduled special presentations at schools, daycares, churches, civic groups and other organizations. To schedule a presentation, or for more information, call 514-4550, or email