This week, we are marking the 100th anniversary of National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s National Fire Prevention Week theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.” The campaign works with the goal to educate Americans about simple, but crucial actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.
Taking steps ahead of time to be prepared can be lifesaving in the event of fires. This National Fire Prevention Week marks 100 years of working to spread awareness of the importance of fire safety. This year focuses on the plans we can make now to provide for smoother escape in the case of a fire for ourselves and our loved ones.
In 1922, in commemoration with the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week and has since then. This week teaches children, adults, and teachers how to stay safe in case of fire.
In 2021, 96 home fire fatalities were reported in Illinois and as of October 12th, 2022, 67 civilian home fire fatalities were reported in Illinois for 2022, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Seasonally, with the upcoming Halloween holiday, NFPA recommends:
- Using battery-operated candles or glow sticks in jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween decorations
- Avoiding long trailing fabric for costumes
- Providing children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes
- Teaching children to stay away from open flames (including jack-o-lanterns with candles)
- Remembering to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes
Individuals should also:
- Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working
- Keep decorations away from open flames and heat sources
- Remember that dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper catch fire easily
Individuals can visit NFPA.org for more information on preparedness, research, and training. They can also click here for more information on how to make a home fire escape plan.