Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home
fire, individuals may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely
from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes
planning and practice.
The Salina Fire Department has teamed up with the National
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) -- the official sponsor of Fire Prevention
Week™ for more than 90 years -- to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week
campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which
works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and
safely escape a home fire.
NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has
been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per
1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in
2016 than in 1980.
“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant
progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still
much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect
themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of
Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed
at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”
Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their
home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out
of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to
a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.
“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that
people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or
even cost them their lives,” said Troy Long, Fire Marshal of the Salina Fire
Department. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the
potentially life-saving difference escape planning and practice can make and
motivating them to action.”
Long said this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign
highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a
- Look for places fire could start
- Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
- Learn 2 ways out of every room.
While NFPA and the Salina Fire Department are focusing on
home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.
“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use
wherever they go,” said Long. “No matter where you are, look for available
exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building
To learn more about this year's Fire Prevention Week
campaign visit firepreventionweek.org.
For more information about fire safety, call Long at (785) 826-7340.