Fire prevention week teaches safety measures

Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed Oct. 7-13 as Fire Prevention Week in Kentucky. The National Fire Protection Association sponsors fire prevention week annually and this year the theme is “have 2 ways out.”

“Kentucky families should take time together to map out a plan for escaping a home fire,” said William Swope, state fire marshal and director of the Division of Fire Prevention. “But don’t stop there. After you have mapped out two emergency exits, practice the plan with your family. This is the ultimate ‘great escape.’”

Swope also emphasizes the importance of working smoke detectors in a home or apartment.

“Smoke detectors – hard wired ones with a battery backup – should be installed on every floor of your home, including the basement, and in each sleeping area,” he said. “It’s best to have “dual technology” detectors, ones that can detect both fast flaming and smoldering fires. Not all fires are the same. On a regular basis, check your smoke detectors to make sure they are working.”

The best way to practice fire safety is to make sure a fire doesn’t break out in the first place, he said.

Swope says to be aware of potential hazards in your home.

“Look around your house for potential problems,” he said. “For instance, are your electrical appliances in good condition? Are your outlets overloaded with too many items plugged in? Do you use too many extension cords? These are all things that can be fixed easily.”

In addition to Kentucky’s upcoming Fire Prevention Week, Division of Forestry officials remind citizens that Fall Fire Hazard Season is in effect from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. During this time, outdoor burning is illegal between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland.

“The safety of families living in or adjacent to natural areas is especially important during fire seasons,” said Leah MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry. “The best way to protect lives and property is to prevent wildfires from getting started in the first place. Homeowners who live in or near forested areas should prune and remove flammable plant and debris. Reducing the amount of fuel from shrubs, dead plant material and firewood will help create a defensible space around your home.”

Staff Report.