October is Fire Safety Month, with Fire Prevention Week beginning Sunday, October 6th through October 15th and October 13th being National Home Fire Drill Day. This year's theme: "Fire Won't Wait. Plan Your Escape."

Today’s homes burn faster and hotter than they used to, minimizing the amount of time they have to escape safely. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as two minutes to get out from the time the smoke alarm sounds.  Developing a home escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it regularly ensures that everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds and uses that time wisely.

Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes. Make sure your home escape plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.

•Include at least two ways to exit every room in your home.
•Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
•Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.


Test your smoke alarms monthly.
•Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
•Change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
•Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they need to be replaced because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, its 100th anniversary, and this year’s theme, “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape,” visit www.nfpa.org/fpw.

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