October is Fire Prevention Month
The Tumwater Fire Department reminds residents "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.
Home Fire Escape Planning and Practice
Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practiced before a fire strikes.
Home fire escape planning should include the following:
- Drawing a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows
- Going to each room and pointing to the two ways out
- Making sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out
- Teaching children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them
- Establishing a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting
- Having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms
Fire Prevention Month works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. 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. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.
National Fire Protection Association (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.
For more information about Fire Prevention Month, visit www.fpw.org.
The City of Tumwater’s Fire Department is ready to protect and serve the community at a moment’s notice, but fire prevention and education begins at home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration website, 2012-2014 reported an estimated 243,800 one-and two-family residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States each year. These fires caused an estimated 2,110 deaths, 7,950 injuries and 5.4 billion dollars in property loss. The majority of these deaths and injuries come from fires that start in the home. Safety and prevention can be achieved by taking the time to ensure that the following measures are considered.
Safety in your home
- Every home should have one working smoke alarm in every bedroom and one on every level. All alarms should be tested monthly, kept free of dust and batteries should be replaced at least once a year. Unit replacement should be considered after ten years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut-off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or emit an unusual smell. Have faulty appliances professionally repaired, or replaced.
- Sources of alternative heat must be monitored and used under only appropriate conditions. Portable heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything combustible. Fireplaces should be fitted with fire screens, and chimneys should be cleaned annually to prevent creosote buildup that could ignite a fire. Gas powered heaters must always be used in only well ventilated areas, and should never be used inside the home unless specifically designated “Indoor Safe” by the manufacturer.
- Have an escape plan, and practice it with your family. There should an exit strategy from every room in the house in the event of an emergency. Be sure to select a location that is a safe distance away from the home where everyone can meet after clearing the house. For specialized training on how best to prepare you family, visit the Thurston County Emergency Management Map Your Neighborhood Program.
Other fire safety resources
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 754-4170 (non-emergency).