WESTFIELD - The Westfield Volunteer Fire Department, along with the National Fire Prevention Association, are observing Fire Prevention week from Sunday, Oct. 7 through Saturday, Oct. 13.
This year's theme, "Have two ways out" focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
The reality is a home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes when a fire strikes. It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares a family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if the first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That is why having two ways out is such a key part of an escape plan.
The Westfield Volunteer Fire Department, along with the National Fire Prevention Association, are observing Fire Prevention week from Sunday, Oct. 7 through Saturday, Oct. 13. Image reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2012 NFPA.
One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010 and most fatal fires killed one to two people. In 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people. These 19 fires resulted in 101 deaths.
According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
Almost three-fourths of Americans do have an escape plan, however, less than half actually practice it.
One-third of American households estimated they thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less, and only 8 percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.
Almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 92 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 77 percent of the time.
Fire prevention should be practiced not just doing this week, but must be a daily procedure to ensure the safety of families and the community. The Westfield Volunteer Fire Department is here to assist any homeowner with the proper location for their smoke alarms. Contact Jim Pacanowski at 326-3259.
Additional fire safety messages will be posted shortly on the department's website, www.fdwny.com.