The Asheville Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) — 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!™” The campaign, which runs Oct. 6-12, works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is organizing a statewide fire drill. At 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, fire sirens will sound across the state to remind people to plan and practice their escape route.
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 fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016.
“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “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.
While NFPA and the Asheville Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” says Fire Chief Scott Burnette. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
The Asheville Fire Department is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, including station tours, educating in local schools and businesses. AFD educational events this month will be held in all Asheville City schools, including charter schools, and in Buncombe County schools located within the city.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Asheville, please contact Fire and Life Safety Educator Charley Cox at 828-552-9296. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.nfpa.org/fpw.