For Immediate Release: October 10, 2011
Insurance Commissioner Wants You To Protect Your Family From Fire
Launches 2011 Fire Prevention Week by declaring Oct. 12 Family Fire Drill Day for North Carolinians
Raleigh -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin launched 2011 Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15, by declaring Oct. 12 Family Fire Drill Day and urging everyone to learn the fire safety skills necessary to fulfill this year's campaign theme, "Protect Your Family From Fire."
"My family and I will be practicing our family fire drill at home this Wednesday, and I encourage all North Carolinians to do the same with their families," said Goodwin. "Fire Prevention Week is a great time for everyone in the family to learn skills that will help them prevent fires all year long and escape a fire safely."
According to a National Fire Protection Association survey, less than 25 percent of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. And only 8 percent of Americans said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out of the house.
To participate in Family Fire Drill Day:
- Sketch out a home fire escape map, identifying two escape routes from each room. Make sure routes are clear and that windows and doors open properly. Then post the plan where everyone can see it.
- Pick a safe, outdoor meeting place where everyone will go when the alarm sounds.
- When the alarm sounds, "Get Low and Go." Crawl or stay low, underneath smoke.
- Hold a Family Fire Drill at least twice a year so it stays fresh in everyone's mind.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly by testing them monthly, changing the batteries once a year and replacing them every 10 years.
The public can help celebrate Fire Prevention Week by attending fun and educational events in their local communities, including birthday celebrations for Sparky the Fire Dog, the official NFPA mascot. Click on this link for a list of events.
Fire Prevention Week
The inspiration behind the national recognition of Fire Prevention Week is the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 9, 1871. Burning for nearly 27 hours, this fire killed more than 250 people, destroyed more than 17,400 buildings and left 100,000 homeless. Forty years later, fire marshals across the country decided to recognize a fire prevention day, to educate the public and pass along valuable fire safety messages to prevent another great fire from occurring. Finally in 1922, the nation's fire officials decided to recognize an entire week in October - whichever week the ninth falls in - as Fire Prevention Week, and to encourage communities to use this time to learn more about preventing such fire tragedies, large and small.