It’s Fire Prevention Week : Protect your family from fire!

  • Published
  • By the Fire Emergency Services Flight
  • 4th Civil Engineer Squadron
What is the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game, of course. With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, your best defense is a good offense.

That's why the Seymour Johnson Fire Emergency Services flight is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association from Oct. 9-15 to let our community know: "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!" This year's campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires -- cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

In 2009, 2,565 people died in home fires. Nearly all of these deaths could have been prevented by taking a few simple precautions such as having working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan, keeping things that can burn away from the stove and always turning off space heaters before going to bed. Fire is a dangerous element, but by anticipating the hazards, you are much less likely to be one of the nearly 13,000 people injured in home fires each year.

Seymour Johnson Fire Emergency Services offers the following tips for protecting your home and family from fire:

· Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

· Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.

· Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.

· Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.

· If you smoke, smoke outside.

· Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.

· Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

Seymour Johnson's residents need to provide the best protection to keep their homes and families safe in the event of a fire. This can be achieved by developing an escape plan which you practice regularly and equipping homes with life-saving technologies like smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers. The following tips will help keep your family safe if there is a fire in your home:

· Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home (including the basement).

· Interconnect all smoke alarms in the home so when one sounds, they all sound.

· Test smoke alarms monthly and replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond when tested.
· Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if the smoke alarm sounds.

·Bring everyone together in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.

· If you are building or remodeling your home, consider installing home fire sprinklers.

The Seymour Johnson Fire Emergency Services flight will be hosting activities during Fire Prevention Week on-base and in the local community.

· Open House at Main Fire Station Oct. 7, from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

·Sparky the fire dog with Firefighters passing out fire prevention materials at the base gates Oct. 11-14.

· There will be a parade through Military Family Housing Oct. 15 at 10 a.m.

· Sparky and Slim will make appearances at the Base Library, Child Development Center and Base Exchange all-week long.

· Fire drills and briefings across the base in numerous facilities (in coordination with unit Commanders) will be held all week long.

· Presentations and educational materials will be distributed in support of Fire Prevention Week activities at schools and child care facilities including Meadow Lane Elementary, WAGES Head Start and home day care providers.
· Static displays of Air Force fire vehicles along with firefighters from the Goldsboro Fire Department will be at Berkeley Mall Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the power of prevention and available technologies to protect their own families from fire.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities on Seymour Johnson AFB, contact the Fire Emergency Services flight at (919) 722-3836. To learn more about "It's Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!" visit NFPA's Web site at