MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department teamed 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!”

The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe. 

James Stasiak and the other members of the Mahopac department’s crew visited each class of Fulmar Road and Lakeview elementary schools with lively demonstrations and education on fire prevention and safety practices.  

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In 2017, statistics from the Fire Protection Association show, U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home-structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 deaths and 10,600 injuries. On average, seven people died daily in home fires from 2012 to 2016. 

“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, the fire-prevention organization’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 the fire-prevention organization and the Mahopac department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

“Being aware of your surroundings is a skill both students and adults need to use wherever they go,” said Adam Savino, a Mahopac fire commissioner and school board member. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

To find out more about fire prevention and the volunteer firefighter program, go to www.mahopacvfd.com.

Laura Lee Holmbo is the communication consultant for Mahopac School District.