The latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that if you have a reported fire in your home, you are more likely to die today than you were a few decades ago. This startling statistic is behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere. Fire Prevention Week takes place October 7-13, 2018.
Through three simple calls-to-action, this year’s theme identifies basic but essential ways people can reduce their risk to fire and be prepared in the event of one:
- Look for places fire can start
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
- Learn two ways out of each room
“People take safety for granted and are not aware of the risk of fire,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Paying attention to your surroundings, looking for available exits in the event of a fire or other emergency, and taking the smoke alarm seriously if it sounds can make a potentially life-saving difference in a fire or other emergency situation.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week messages apply to virtually all locations. However, NFPA continues to focus on home fire safety, as the majority of U.S. fire deaths (four out of five) occur at home each year. In fact, the fire death rate (per 1000 home fires reported to the fire department) was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.
“While we’ve made significant progress in preventing home fires from happening, these statistics show that there’s still much more work to do when it comes to teaching people how to protect themselves in the event of one, and why advance planning is so critically important,” said Carli.
In Calvert County, over 800 Fire, Rescue and EMS volunteers are committed to ensuring the safety and security of citizens and businesses, through many hours dedicated to fire prevention. Fire is a serious public safety concern and personal dwellings are where Calvert County citizens are at the greatest risk from fire. The continued success and preservation of Calvert County’s Volunteer Fire-Rescue-EMS Departments is in the best interest of all citizens.
The National Fire Protection Association has documented through research that one of every three house fires start in the kitchen, which makes cooking the leading cause of house fires.
Maryland’s volunteer fire, rescue & EMS departments are looking for individuals who want to make a difference. Request info at https://firedept.link/marylandfire from your nearby station. No experience needed, just a passion for helping your community. Front line and administrative/support opportunities available PLUS benefits including free training, state tax credits, length of service award program and so much more.
On October 2, 2018, The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed October 7 – 13 as Fire Prevention Week in Calvert County. They also asked all citizens to join in continuing education. They also reminded everyone that the theme “Look, Listen, Learn. Be Aware. Fire Can Happen Anywhere” reinforces why all need an escape plan. They also ask that you support your volunteers and their efforts.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon