Fire Prevention Week

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Sycamore Fire Truck

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.

Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.

The Sycamore Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 90 years to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.

NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”

Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to complacency toward home escape planning and practice.

Sycamore Firefighter/Paramedic Ian Wheeler says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:

Look for places fire could start.

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

Learn 2 ways out of every room.

While NFPA and the Sycamore Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Ian Wheeler. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

The Sycamore Fire Department is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn.,” including their 2nd annual open house on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 11-2. This event will be held at Sycamore Fire Station #2, located at 2100 Frantum Road and is a great time to meet local first responders including firefighters, paramedics, police officers and more! The open house will feature facility and vehicle tours, live demonstrations and activities for kids and will include presentations by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Sycamore Police Department, Life Flight Helicopter, ComEd and Nicor.

For more information on Fire Prevention Week or the open house, please contact the Sycamore Fire Department at (815) 895-4514, or visit us on Facebook at City of Sycamore Fire Department for occasional postings.

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