Sunday, October 7, 2018 – Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. 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. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
The Trophy Club Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ‑‑ the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 90 years ‑‑ to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.
“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.” Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to complacency toward home escape planning and practice.
“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Wade Carroll, Chief of the Trophy Club Fire Department. “Teaching people about the potentially life-saving escape planning and encouraging the practicing of these things at home can make a potentially terrible situation into one with some positive outcomes.”
Chief Carroll says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:
- Look for places fire could start.
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
- Learn 2 ways out of every room.
While NFPA and the Trophy Club Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere. “Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Chief Carroll. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
The Trophy Club Fire Department is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn.” including visits to the following locations to distribute materials and information:
- October 2 – Church of Trophy Lakes Baptist at 10:00 am
- October 3 – Church of Trophy Lakes Baptist at 10:00 am
- October 5 – Beck Elementary at 8:00 am
- October 9 – Premier Academy at 10:00 am
- October 11 – Merry Hill at 10:00 am
- October 15 – First United Methodist Church at 10:00 am
- October 16 – First United Methodist Church at 10:00 am
- October 18 – Wonderland Montessori at 10:00 am
- October 25 – Lake Cities Church of Christ at 9:40 am
- October 26 – Lakeview Elementary at 8:00 am
If you are interested in having the Trophy Club Fire Department visit your business, school or location, please contact Anita Otterson at 682.237.2940. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.