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This week is National Fire Prevention Week.

Oct 05, 2018 06:40AM ● By Editor

From staff reports from The Cook County News Herald - October 5, 2018

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware—fire can happen anywhere.”

According to NFPA statistics, you are more likely to die in a house fire today than you were a few decades ago.

This year’s theme identifies three basic but essential ways people can reduce their risk to a home fire.

. Look for places a fire can start.

. Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. 

. Learn two ways out of each room.

“People take safety for granted and are not aware of the risk of fire,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy. “Paying attention to your surroundings, looking for available exits in the event of a fire or other emergency, and taking the smoke alarm seriously if it sounds can make a potentially life-saving difference in a fire or other emergency situation.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week messages apply to virtually all locations. However, NFPA continues to focus on home fire safety, as the majority of U.S. fire deaths (four out of five) occur at home each year. 

In fact, the fire death rate (per 1,000 home fires reported to the fire department) was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

Common causes of home fires are cooking, heating, electrical and smoking, which is the leading cause of fire deaths.

Some tips to remember is to make sure you have an ABC class fire extinguisher on hand, plan an escape route, don’t smoke in bed (or on the couch or lounging chair) and clean the lint from your dryer every time you dry your clothes. Also, make sure you have smoke detectors in the right places and the batteries are fresh. 

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