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News | Oct. 11, 2022

100th Year of National Fire Prevention Week emphasizes planning, practicing home escape

By Noah McGee, Fire Prevention Inspector DLA Installation Management Richmond Virginia's Fire and Emergency Services

Join Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services in commemorating the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9-15. This year's FPW campaign, "Fire won't wait. Plan your escape." aims to educate personnel and their families on quick, easy steps they can take to protect themselves and others from house fires.

Homes today burn faster than ever before. You may only have two minutes (or less) to safely escape a house fire from the time the smoke alarm goes off. Early warning from smoke alarms, as well as preparation, are critical for escaping a burning house.

Planning and practicing a home fire escape

Everyone should have and practice their home fire escape plan. Knowing what to do when the smoke alarm goes off and you have a fire, everyone must be prepared. Each home is unique and will require different strategies for home fire escape. Plan for each member of your family including children, elderly, etc. and others with mobility issues requiring assistance with evacuating the dwelling, making sure that someone is aware, and will can help them.

Other important things to remember:

- Plan two-ways out: You should always have two exits out of a structure. A primary and a secondary in case you cannot access one.

- Get out. Stay out: When out of a structure that is on fire, do not re-enter. Re-entering a facility during a fire can get you hurt or killed.

- Get low and go: During a fire, smoke and other super-heated gases are created. Get as close to the ground as possible during your escape.

100th Anniversary of NFPA Fire Prevention Week

Since the first public observation of Fire Prevention Week in 1922, the NFPA has sponsored it ever since. President Calvin Coolidge inaugurated Fire Prevention Week, our country's longest-running public health holiday in 1925. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers all receive fire safety instruction. Firefighters use life-saving public education to drastically minimize the number of individuals killed or injured in fires.

The week of October 9 is designated as Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which started on October 8, 1871, and left devastation in its wake. More than 250 people were killed, 100,000 were displaced, over 17,400 houses were damaged, and over 2,000 acres of land were destroyed in this heinous fire.

Activities on DSCR:

Between October 11-14, DLA Installation Management Richmond’s Fire and Emergency Services will host an assembly of displays throughout the Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia installation. Sparky will be greeting personnel at the gates on various days, while Fire and Emergency services personnel will visit many buildings to hand out fire and life safety materials and discuss home and office safety.