For Immediate Release: October 4, 2012
Insurance Commissioner Wants Families to Have Two Ways Out
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin launched 2012 Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, by declaring Oct. 10 Family Fire Drill Day and urging everyone to uphold this year's campaign theme, "Have Two Ways Out," by planning and practicing their own family fire drill.
"It's important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. That's why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan," said Goodwin. "My family and I will be practicing our family fire drill at home next Wednesday, and I encourage all North Carolinians to do the same with their families."
According to a National Fire Protection Association survey, less than 25 percent of Americans have 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 an outdoor meeting place, a safe distance in front of the home.
- Hold a Family Fire Drill at least twice a year so it stays fresh in everyone's mind.
- When the alarm sounds, "Get Low and Go." Crawl or stay low, underneath smoke.
- 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. Go to www.ncdoi.com/fireprevention 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.