SFD structure fire

FILE – Stillwater firefighter Rhett Strain attempts to extinguish one of the structure fires on Sunday that destroyed four homes earlier this year.

The Stillwater Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9-15. This year’s campaign “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape” teaches people simple but important things they can do to keep themselves and others safe from fires in their home.

“Today’s homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA, said. “Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.”

The Stillwater Fire Department encourages everyone to embrace the 2022 Fire Prevention Week theme. Even children can make a difference if they know what to do.

“We had a little girl tell her mom to dial 9-1-1, because she could hear the smoke detector going off in the neighboring apartment,” Fire Marshal Thomas Tharp said. “Her mother called 9-1-1 as they left their apartment. The little girl was later asked how she knew what to do. She said that she was taught fire safety at school during fire prevention week.”

Fire Prevention week in Stillwater

Stillwater Mayor, Will Joyce, joins Sparky and Fire Marshal Thomas Tharp to proclaim Oct. 9-15 as Fire Prevention Week. This year is the 100-year anniversary of the national event that teaches people important things they can do to keep themselves and others safe from fires in the home

Stillwater Fire Department wants to share these key planning tips for escaping fires in your home:

• Make sure your plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

• Smoke alarms should be installed inside every room where someone sleeps, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.

• Know at least two ways out of every room if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.

• Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home and make sure everyone knows where it is.

• Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and once at night.

The Stillwater Fire Department is hosting a series of events during Fire Prevention Week, including visits to all six Stillwater elementary schools to teach kids about fire safety and a coloring contest. Two winners from each site will get the chance to ride to school on a fire truck.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week activities in Stillwater, contact the Stillwater Fire Department. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and general fire prevention, visit fpw.org and sparky.org.

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