"Have 2 Ways Out" - Fire Prevention Week 2012

October 7-13, 2012

Fire Prevention Week BannerEach year, the week surrounding the date of October 8th is celebrated as National Fire Prevention Week. Why October 8th? The date commemorates the infamous “Great Chicago Fire” of 1871 that killed 250 people and destroyed over 17,000 homes.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925. The State of California is committed to a long tradition of ensuring the safety and security of all those living in and visiting our state because fire is a serious public safety concern both locally and nationally.

Every year in California firefighters respond to residential structure fires that take lives and inflict millions of dollars in damage. This year, CAL FIRE and fire departments across the state are taking this opportunity during Fire Prevention Week to remind all Californians of the importance of creating a fire escape plan for your home and practicing it regularly.  Most home fires occur at night when people are the least prepared. Tragedy can be avoided by knowing in advance and practicing two escape routes from each room.

In California, 70 percent of reported structure fires are residential and account for 90 percent of fire deaths. Everyone should take steps to help prevent home fires and ensure their family is protected.”

The 2012 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Have 2 Ways Out” effectively serves to remind us all of the simple actions we can take to stay safer from fire during Fire Prevention Week and year-round.

Making an escape plan is simple:

  • Draw a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
  • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet after they’ve safely escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
  • Check your smoke alarms regularly and have practice escape drills so everyone knows two ways out.

Practicing fire-safe behaviors and knowing what to do in an emergency can give your family extra seconds to escape. 



    • Test smoke alarms once a month
    • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms twice a year
    • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years
    • Smoke Alarm Fact Sheet


    • Provides your family extra time to safely escape
    • Helps to contain a fire to the room it started in
    • Will often extinguish the fire before the fire department arrives
    • NFPA Home Fire Sprinklers Fact Sheet

Your home should be a safe haven. Take the time now during Fire Prevention Week to make it fire safe.


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