Age doesn’t matter, anyone can become a fire safety hero! In observance of Fire Prevention Month and Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 6-12), people of all ages are encouraged to learn about fire safety and practice steps to help family and friends escape safely in the event of a home fire.
In New Jersey, 30 people have lost their lives in home fires since January of this year. “Sadly, none of these homes had fire sprinklers installed which can reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 80 percent, and reduce property loss by 70 percent,” said David Kurasz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NFSAB).
Nationally, the most recent statistics showed that in 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires which resulted in 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries.
“When a fire breaks you may only have 3-5 minutes to escape (as little as 2 minutes once the smoke alarm sounds) before fire can spread, block exits, reduce visibility and increase the risk of injury or death,” explained Kurasz. “Fire doesn’t discriminate. We strongly encourage children, teens, adults and seniors to learn important fire safety tips and find ways to incorporate fire prevention into their daily routines to ensure that they have the knowledge and tools needed to stay healthy and safe.”
“Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” is the theme of Fire Prevention Week education campaign sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Here are some simple tips to help make your home more fire safe:
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of the home, in each bedroom, near all sleeping areas and test monthly.
- Map the layout of your home and mark at least 2 exits from each room to the outside
- Pick a meeting place outside the home where everyone will gather
- Teach children of all ages to call 911
- Keep items like matches and lighters out of children's reach
- Stay close by to the kitchen when cooking, especially on the stovetop
- Keep flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment
- Make sure no exits are blocked with toys, boxes or furniture
Fire safety plans should be practiced at least twice a year and especially on Home Fire Drill Day, Saturday, Oct. 13.
NJFSAB has a special Fire Prevention webpage https://njfsab.org/fire-prevention-week/ with links to a variety of fire safety and prevention resources and information.
NJFSAB will be hosting free LIVE Burn Trailer Demonstrations in more than 25 communities across New Jersey during the Month of October. These demonstrations educate the public about fire prevention, offer safety tips and to show first-hand how quickly fire can spread and how effective fire sprinklers can be to saving lives and property. See the schedule for a demonstration near you: https://njfsab.org/resources/burn-trailer-demonstrations/
In addition, NJFSAB and the PenJerDel Chapter of the NFSA awarded $1,000 grants to 9 fire departments to enable them to build their own Side-by-Side fire demonstration units. Many will be doing public presentations this month including:
- Lumberton Fire Department - Oct. 4, 7 p.m., 34 Municipal Dr., Lumberton, NJ
- West Windsor Fire and Emergency Services - Oct. 6, 11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m., 346 Clarksville Rd., Princeton Junction, NJ
- Tabernacle Fire Company #1 - Oct.7, 8 p.m., 76 Hawkin Rd., Tabernacle, NJ
- Washington Township Fire Department (Gloucester) - Oct. 16, 7 p.m., 327 Fries Mill Rd., Turnersville, NJ
- Fair Lawn Fire Department - TBD
To learn more about fire sprinklers or to schedule a free fire safety and Burn Trailer demonstration for your community or school visit: www.SaveAndProtect.org or call 1-866-226-6006.