CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – It’s National Fire Prevention Week, so make sure to practice ways to prevent and escape a fire in case one ever ignites.

National Fire Prevention week is observed from October 9 to October 15, 2022. The 2022 Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

Each day of the week, organizations like the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) will release fire safety tips to help Virginians be prepared in case of an emergency.

Helpful fire safety tips can include a variety of different tactics, like:

  • As a family, draw a map of the layout of your home. Include all doors and windows. You can use this grid from the U.S. Fire Administration
  • Find two ways out of every room in case one way is blocked by fire
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case an adult can’t help them
  • Make sure doors and windows open easily and are not blocked by furniture
  • Choose an outside meeting place such as the end of your driveway or your mailbox
  • Assign someone to call 911 once everyone is out
  • Make sure the address of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas
  • Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound
  • Test smoke alarms monthly by pushing the “test” button and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it
  • Check the manufacturer’s date. If the alarm is 10 years or older, it needs to be replaced
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if it goes off
  • Practice home fire drills at least twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day and practice using different ways out.
  • Children should be taught what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around. Show them how to exit by crawling on the ground and using the back of their hand to check doors for heat before opening and to use a different way if the door is hot.
  • To conduct the drill, sound the smoke alarm and start a timer. Once everyone gets to the meeting place, stop the timer. If everybody made it out in two minutes, celebrate. If not, give it another try.

Make sure to practice better fire safety both this week and at all times. You never know when a fire could break out wherever you are.

“You may have as little as two minutes – or even less time – to safely get out of your home during a fire. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm greatly increases your chances of surviving a home fire.”

Ken Brown, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator