By Colby Gable
In recognition of 2019 Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6-12, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is urging everyone to uphold this year’s campaign theme, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.” Beyond just their motto however, those such as Fire Marshal Mike Causey has organized a statewide fire drill. At 1 p.m., fire sirens will sound across the state to remind people to plan and practice their fire escape route.
“Once a fire alarm goes off in your home, you may have less than two minutes to safely escape,” said Commissioner Causey. “That’s why I’m asking all families to come up with a fire escape plan – practice it – and learn two ways out of your home.”
Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
So far in 2019, there have been 87 fire deaths in North Carolina. The majority of those fires happened in homes without the presence of a working smoke alarm. 135 people lost their lives because of fire in 2018 – the deadliest year on record for fire deaths in North Carolina.
Commissioner Causey continued, “In the event of a fire, just a matter of seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. It’s for everyone. During Fire Prevention Week, we want to educate as many people as possible to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.”
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires in 2017. 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 from 2012 to 2016.
For more information on Fire Prevention Week programs and related fire-prevention-activities in Boone, contact the Boone Fire Department at (828) 268-6180. For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.fpw.org.