Each year National Fire Prevention Week is observed around the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and left Chicago in ruins.
Though there have been many changes in building practices and city planning since the Great Chicago Fire to prevent that kind of widespread devastation from happening again, individual homes and structures are still routinely destroyed by fires that all too often could have been prevented. And though these fires don’t cause widespread misery, losing a home to fire can be devastating to an individual family.
To help prevent needless tragedies, the Melbourne Fire Department is joining with the National Fire Prevention Association and communities all across the country to educate residents about things that they can do to prevent fires in their homes — and how to safely escape a fire should one happen.
This year's Fire Prevention Week campaign is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” which aims to inform people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:
- Look for places where fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
- Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
- Check this page each day during Fire Prevention Week for a new fire safety tip. Or you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
- Get more information about the annual campaign on the National Fire Prevention Association’s Fire Prevention Week website.
- For fire prevention and safety tips, see the Prepare, Prevent & Practice page on the City of Melbourne website.
Melbourne Fire Department Reminds Residents to “Plan and Practice Your Escape” During Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12
The Melbourne Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
NFPA statistics show that in 2017 U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016.
“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s 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 NFPA and the Melbourne Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Jim Harton, Fire Inspector with Melbourne Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
In support of this year’s educational efforts, Melbourne fire fighters and fire engines will be on display in front of the Melbourne Auditorium to answer questions and share information with families attending the Spooktactual Haunted House event on October 26, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., at the Melbourne Auditorium.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week in Melbourne, please contact the Melbourne Fire Department at 321-608-7910. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit the National Fire Prevention Association’s Fire Prevention Week webpage.