A recent house fire in Batavia and a spate of late-summer, early fall structure fires in the Tri-Cities serve as reminders that every household should establish a plan for emergency situations.
That’s also the message of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which on Tuesday kicked off National Fire Prevention Week 2017.
In 2016, fires occurred in more than 15,000 homes in Illinois. Additionally, Illinois fire departments reported over 500 civilian fire-related injuries and 121 civilian fatalities.
Gov. Bruce Rauner proclaimed Oct. 8 through Oct. 14 as Fire Prevention Week in Illinois to encourage residents to learn and prepare for emergency situations.
This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out.” Firefighters across the state will be visiting schools to teach students the importance of fire safety. In fire emergencies, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. It is crucial to have an escape plan in place for your home. Each occupant should know multiple exits and paths to safety.
“Fire is everyone’s fight and can occur in any building,” said Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Always be aware of your surroundings, whether you are at home or at work. Have a Plan A and Plan B in case of emergency. This October, please take the time to prepare and protect your-self and your family.”
The National Fire Protection Association recommends the following:
- Draw a map of your home that clearly identifies pathways to two exits.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year – one at night and one during the day – with everyone in the family.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Clearly mark your home so fire departments and first responders can find it easily.
- Close doors behind you as you leave to slow the spread of smoke and fire.
- Prepare for a fire by reading a Fire Damage Guide.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
For additional information about National Fire Prevention Week, please go to the NFPA website.