Observing this year’s Fire Prevention Week

The Fermilab Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association and observing the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention WeekTM. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, 2022. It’s celebrated during the week of Oct. 9 each year in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct. 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

The theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week: “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape.” It reinforces the critical importance of developing a home escape plan with all members of the household — and practicing it regularly.

Here are a few tips that can help you keep your household safe:

  • The most important thing you can do is create a home escape plan that will work for everyone in your household. Make sure it meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected, so when one sounds, all of them sound.
  • When possible, make sure your plan allows for at least two ways out of every room. Check to ensure all windows and doors are easy to access and open.
  • Agree on an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home to use in the event of a house fire.
  • Put your escape plan into action by conducting home fire drills at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Alternate between daytime and nighttime drills. For simplicity, you can do these drills at the same time you change the batteries in your smoke alarms.

For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.fpw.org, or call the Fermilab Fire Department at x3428.

Steve Hernandez is fire chief at Fermilab Fire Department.