In observance of both National Fire Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York is asking New Yorkers to remember and re-learn basic fire safety rules that can help save lives. This year’s prevention theme -- “Have 2 Ways Out!”-- urges residents to stress the importance of fire escape planning and practice.
“Fire deaths can be prevented,” said FASNY President Jim Burns. “Implementing and practicing an escape plan in the home increases the chance of survival. Every year, we see tragic losses of life that don’t have to happen, and that can be avoided by following a few basic safety rules.”
Fires can spread very quickly through a home, leaving occupants with roughly two minutes to escape safely, once the smoke detector alarms sound. Yet, according to the National Fire Protection Association, one-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening.
In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.
“Fire Prevention Month and Fire Prevention Week are perfect opportunities to teach and remind the public about fire safety and why it is so important,” said President Burns. “FASNY, our member fire departments and volunteer firefighters statewide urge all New Yorkers to take fire safety as seriously as we do.
FASNY and the NFPA provide the following safety tips:
Exit Drills In the Home
- Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
- Choose a meeting place outside, in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
- Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
- Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
- Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
About FASNY Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the more than 90,000 volunteer firefighters in New York State. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.