UTICA, N.Y. – It’s Fire Prevention Week, and the Utica Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote the new campaign, ‘Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!’
The NFPA has sponsored Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years to educate students and families about fire safety and how to create an action plan to escape a home fire. UFD and NFPA will be visiting area schools this week to spread the message.
Statistics gathered by the NFPA show that in 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 deaths and 10,600 injuries. On average, seven people died in a house fire per day from 2012 to 2016.
“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy. “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. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.”
While this campaign encourages families to practice escape plans for house fires, Capt. Joseph Puleo of the UFD says people should be aware of their surroundings no matter where they are.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go, “said Puleo. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
To find out more about fire preparedness, contact the Utica Fire Department at 315-731-2000. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit: www.fpw.org.