Did you know once a smoke alarm sounds you have only one to two minutes to escape a house fire safely? That’s why the Raleigh Fire Department encourages everyone to have an escape plan.
The Raleigh Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign: “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” Fire Prevention Week will take place Oct. 6 through Oct. 12.
NFPA statistics show that in 2017 fire departments in the United States responded to about 357,000 home structure fires that resulted in 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day between 2012 and 2016.
While NFPA and the Raleigh 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 Lemuel Hubbard, fire lieutenant with the Raleigh Fire Department. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.
Plan Your Escape
Here are a few key steps to take:
- Develop a home escape plan with your family and practice it. A plan includes two exits from each room in your home (typically a door and a window). Make sure your exits are clear of clutter and windows open easily;
- Pick an outside meeting place in front of your home where everyone will meet upon exiting the home. Choose a stationary location such as a tree, a mailbox or a light post;
- If members of your household need assistance escaping a fire (such as young children and older adults), make sure your home escape plan accounts for their needs;
- If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately;
- In a fire, once you get outside, stay outside! Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately from your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone; and,
- Situational awareness is a skill you need to use wherever you go; no matter where you are, look for available exits.
2019 Fire Prevention Week Activities
The Raleigh Fire Department is promoting the “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” campaign in various locations during the Fire Prevention Week, including:
- 2019 Raleigh Tamale Festival – Saturday, Oct. 5, 2-6 p.m., Dix Park Flower Field
- Pullen Park – Monday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Pullen Park – Tuesday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Triangle Town Center Mall – Thursday, Oct. 10, 2-7 p.m.
- Crabtree Valley Mall – Friday, Oct. 11, 2-7 p.m.
- RFD Keeter Training Center (105 Keeter Center Drive, Raleigh) – Saturday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Raleigh Fire Department will also participate in a statewide event at 1 p.m. on Oct. 12 by sounding its sirens. That will be done to encourage North Carolina families to focus on home fire escape planning and training.
Don’t Cook If You Can’t Look
Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home injuries in the United States and the primary cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Learn more from our “Don’t Cook If You Can’t Look” campaign.