Fire Prevention Week Theme Highlights
- Posted by Barrington Hills
- On October 5, 2022
Importance of Home Fire Escape Planning
Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Pres Release
October 5, 2022
A home fire can double in size every 30 seconds, and residents often have just minutes to evacuate safely. Is your family prepared?
In honor of Fire Prevention Week (October 9th – 15th), the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) is proud to help focus public attention on the importance of home fire escape planning. The theme of this year’s campaign is, Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape.™
The most effective plans prioritize rapid escape and identify two ways out of every room in the house, Fire Chief Jim Kreher explained.
“Synthetic materials used to build furniture, and those used in modern home construction, burn at an incredibly fast rate. A small flame can grow into a major fire in just 30 seconds, and it takes only minutes for a home to be engulfed in flames and thick smoke,” he said. “If a fire occurs in your home, get out immediately.”
Chief Kreher also recommends that family members close doors as they leave rooms to help limit fire’s spread, and determine a destination point outside where they can meet up once they’ve safely exited the house.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 75% of American families have a home fire escape plan, but fewer than half of them have ever practiced it.
To remedy that, BCFPD officials recommend that residents:
- Practice their home escape plan at night and during the daytime with all family members.
- Practice using different exit points.
- Teach children how to escape on their own, in case they become separated from adults.
Learn more about how to create (and practice) a home fire escape plan, and access a variety of home fire safety information, by visiting www.fpw.org.
Numbers Don’t Lie: Smoke Detectors Save Lives
As a first line early warning system, smoke detectors greatly increase the odds of escaping a home fire. The statistics are clear: nearly 70% of home fire deaths occur in residences without working smoke alarms, according to NFPA data.
For maximum effectiveness:
- Install devices in every bedroom of the house and outside sleeping areas on each level of your home (including basements).
- Place units on ceilings or high on walls.
- Keep them at least 10 feet away from the kitchen stove to reduce false alarms.
- Use interconnected smoke alarms, if available – when one sounds, they will all sound.
State Law Mandates New Alarms
Illinois law now mandates the use of newer models featuring self-contained batteries that last a full decade. Homeowners should replace older, battery-powered alarms with new 10-year devices by January 1st, 2023.
Dwellings with hardwired smoke detectors are exempt.
“These 10-year concealed battery units offer a tremendous advantage over the older model smoke detectors they replace: their power source is designed to last for the life of the device,” Chief Kreher explained. “They are also engineered to be more effective in detecting smoke, which offers an enhanced level of protection for family members of all ages.”
About Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week takes place each year during the week of October 9th, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in the U.S.
Established in 1940, the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District serves portions of Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, and Inverness; and portions of unincorporated Cook, Lake, and McHenry Counties. BCFPD services are strengthened through a series of automatic aid agreements and partnerships with surrounding fire departments and fire districts.
The Board of Trustees meets the third Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m., at the District’s Lake Barrington headquarters, 22222 N. Pepper Road. For more information on BCFPD operations, activities and events, call 224-848-4800, visit www.bcfpd.org, and follow the department on Facebook and Instagram.