DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
October 1, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
Families Missing Important Fire Safety Tool
Only a quarter of American families have and practice home fire escape plans
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin urges North Carolinians to learn fire safety skills during Fire Prevention Week 2009. During this week, local firefighters will visits schools, host open houses and teach fire safety to thousands of children and caregivers. Governor Bev Perdue has declared Oct. 4-10, 2009 as Fire Prevention Week in North Carolina.
Statewide Fire Drill
According to a national survey, only one in four Americans has a home escape plan and has practiced it, yet home fires account for 84 percent of all fire deaths. This year the statewide fire drill will be Wednesday, Oct. 7.
"My family and I will be practicing our fire safety drill this Wednesday, and I hope North Carolinians will join us," said Commissioner Goodwin. "Fire Prevention Week is a great time to look closely at your own home and family and make sure both are prepared for a fire emergency."
Novelty Lighters
"Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned!" That's the theme for Fire Prevention Week 2009. So it's very fitting that Senate Bill 652, Prohibit Sale of Novelty Lighters, goes into effect today. This legislation makes it a crime, punishable with a fine up to $500, for any person or business in North Carolina to sell lighters that look like toys. Novelty lighters look like small wind-up or bathtub toys; some are even shaped like popular Disney characters.
Fire Safety Tips
  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Have a home fire escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and a meeting place outside. Practice your escape plan twice a year.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
  • If you are building or remodeling your home, consider a home fire sprinkler system.
-- OSFM --