National Fire Prevention Week
Earlier this month, from October 7th to October 13th, fire protection companies and fire rescue services throughout the USA supported National Fire Prevention Week and took part in raising awareness of and about important fire safety issues. The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week was ‘Have 2 Ways Out’ and focused on the planning and implementation of evacuation in the home.
Fire officials believe the comprehensive and thorough preparation and practice of an escape plan can save lives in the event of an emergency and, as a result, actively encourage people to identify primary and secondary routes within your home. They recommend planning at least two alternative exit ways from each room within your property and suggest that this prepares you and your family to think fast and get out as quickly as possible as soon as a fire is observed or the alarm sounds.
Fire Prevention Week, observed throughout the USA, was first established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The infamous blaze devastated a large part of Chicago and, in doing so, killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2000 acres of land. The fire started on October 8th but continued into, and did most of its damage on, October 9th.
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation and, since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls. There have been numerous themes over the years from the simple ‘Do Your Part to Prevent Fire’ in 1931 to the highly political ‘We Burned the Enemy – Now Save Yourself from Fire’ in 1945 and, more recently, ‘Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With’ in 2010.
Have 2 Ways Out: The Plan…
This year the ‘Have 2 Ways Out’ theme has focused exclusively on the planning and preparation of escape routes and has teamed up with local fire and rescue services in order to promote and advise on fire safety and fire protection within the home. As a result, fire services have offered the following tips to families and homeowners, in order to make the development of a fire escape plan simple and stress-free:
- Draw a floor plan of your home and discuss and plan with your family the quickest, simplest and safest modes of evacuation. The professionals have recommended planning at least two exit routes for each room, the main theme of this National Fire Prevention Week, in case the fire blocks a door or exit way. In your escape plan you should also think about obstacles which may prevent quick evacuation, such as furniture, ornaments, closed doors and bicycles.
- Identify individuals who may need assistance in an evacuation, such as children, the elderly and the disabled. In this step it is important to clearly decide who is responsible for their evacuation and plan how they will be reached in the event of an emergency, determining as many alternative routes as possible and discussing various effective ways of getting them out.
- Choose a meeting place outside of your home to gather and wait. Although understandably difficult, it is incredibly important that once outside, you stay outside. Do not return into the building in any circumstance as not only will you be putting your own life at risk but you can actually delay the fire rescue service’s efforts of saving someone else in the event of somebody being trapped inside. Instead, phone 999 and wait for the emergency services to arrive. It is at this point that you can alert them to anyone who may remain in the building and advise them as to where they may be located.
Events such as National Fire Prevention Week are a fantastic way of bringing the topic of fire safety into the forefronts of people’s minds and are a great time to evaluate your own levels of fire safety and, perhaps, think about increasing the measures you have in place in your home. One of the simplest and most effective ways of increasing the levels of fire safety within your home is to install and have sufficient knowledge and practical understanding of high quality fire protection equipment. This includes things such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire safety blankets, all of which can prove invaluable methods of detection and protection in the event of an emergency.
Scutum London is a leading supplier and installer of a host of fire safety equipment and can offer all the specialist advice you need when installing, maintaining or repairing the fire safety systems within your home or business. Simply give us a call today for more information and one of our friendly and highly experienced technicians will be more than happy to assist you.
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