The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) has announced “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape™” as the theme for Fire Prevention Week™, October 9–15, reinforcing the critical importance of developing a home escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it regularly. In addition, this October represents the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week, the nation’s longest-running public health observance on record.
“This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign capitalizes on its milestone anniversary, celebrating all we’ve accomplished in reducing the public’s risk to fire over the past hundred years,” said Lorraine Carli, Vice President of the NFPA Outreach and Advocacy division. “At the same time, the theme, ‘Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape,’ addresses challenges that remain.”
According to NFPA data, home—the place people feel safest from fire—is actually where they are at greatest risk, with three-quarters (74 percent) of all U.S. fire deaths occurring in homes. When a home fire does occur, it’s more likely to be serious; people are more likely to die in a home fire today than they were in 1980.
“Today’s homes burn faster and hotter than they used to, minimizing the amount of time they have to escape safely,” said Carli. “In a typical home fire, you may have as little as two minutes to get out from the time the smoke alarms sounds.”
The Fire Prevention Week 2022 theme, “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape,” promotes potentially life-saving messages that can mean the difference between life and death in a fire. Developing a home escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it regularly ensures that everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds and uses that time wisely.
Following are key messages behind this year’s “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape” theme:
- Make sure your home escape plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
- Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
- Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
- Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.
As the biggest annual campaign at NFPA, Fire Prevention Week works to educate people about the leading risks to home fires and ways they can better protect themselves and their loved ones. Local fire departments play a key role in bringing Fire Prevention Week to life in their communities each year and spreading basic but critical fire safety messages.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, its 100th anniversary, and this year’s theme, “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape,” visit nfpa.org/fpw.