Teach your community about the dangers of fire

Posted: Sept. 23, 2019

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fire escape plan drawing

Is fire escape plan messaging a top priority for your department or organization? If not, it may be time to revisit your outreach strategy.

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Seventy-one percent of households have a fire escape plan, but only 47% of those have practiced it.
  • One-third believe they have at least six minutes before a fire in their home becomes life-threatening.
  • Only 8% said their first thought was to get out when they heard the smoke alarm.

It's clear from this survey that many in your community probably don't understand the life-threatening risks from heat and toxic smoke produced in a modern home fire. Fire departments need to re-enforce these messages about the characteristics of fire: Fire is FAST. Fire is DARK. Fire is HOT. Fire is DEADLY!

Thirty years ago, people had 17 minutes to escape a home fire: now they have about two minutes. New construction practices and materials, as well as the furniture inside, cause fires to burn faster. Another hazard found in many homes is synthetic materials such as rubber, plastic or foam. When those materials burn, they can cause cyanide poisoning. Most people who die in a fire die from smoke inhalation, not burns.

This year's Fire Prevention Week theme, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.™,” provides an opportunity for fire and life safety organizations to share how important it is for everyone to have a home fire escape plan. Teach your community about the dangers of fire and smoke. Learning these dangers may help them understand that having a plan is not enough. They need to practice it, so everyone knows what to do if they have a fire in their home.

To help you teach your community about the importance of escaping a home fire quickly, USFA created new social media cards and a flyer you can customize that contain messages about the dangers of fire. Also, our new fire safety pictographs will help you to increase the reach of your messages. We offer templates for you to create and customize flyers, posters, banners and door hangers with our pictographs.

Be the hero in your community. Use our fire safety materials to teach residents about the dangers of a modern home fire and why a fire escape plan is so important should one occur.

Share our Fire Prevention Week flyer

Fire Prevention Week flyer

Customize this flyer with your logo and hand it out in your community to increase awareness about the characteristics of home fires and why fire escape plans are important.

Download the flyer PDF 399 KB

Social media messages to share about the importance of escape plans

Use these messages, or create your own, to accompany the cards below.

Fire is FAST!

In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. #FirePreventionWeek

Fire is HOT!

If you inhale the super-hot air in a home fire, it will scorch your lungs. #FirePreventionWeek

Fire is DARK!

If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around your home. #FirePreventionWeek

Fire is DEADLY!

The odorless, colorless fumes from a home fire can lull you into a deep sleep. You may not wake up in time to escape. #FirePreventionWeek

Plan for your escape. Make your home escape plan and practice today. #FirePreventionWeek

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