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By Safety Officer Bob Brookins
October 3, 2018

STATEWIDE (October 3, 2018) - It's time for Fire Prevention Week. From October 7-13 the Office of the State Fire Marshal is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) and fire departments throughout the State to remind residents to LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN. BE AWARE. FIRE CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE. During this year's fire safety campaign, fire departments will be spreading the word about, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:

Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which must be a safe distance from the homes and everyone should know where to meet.

Learn two ways out of every room. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

"All too often a tragedy occurs involving a dwelling fire that claims the life of an occupant and/or occupants," said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "Sadly, in many of these occurrences, a lack of operating smoke alarms is revealed during the investigation. It is our hope that ‘Fire Prevention Week’ will help us reach folks throughout the State of Maryland before they've suffered a tragic loss resulting from the effects of fire." In 2017, firefighters in the United States responded to an estimated 1,319,500 fires. An estimated 499,000 of those occurred in structures, and an estimated 820,500 occurred outside of structures or involved vehicles. These fires accounted for an estimated 3,420 deaths, 2,810 of which occurred in structures and 610 in non-structure, vehicle, or outside fires.

Below are some of the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing:

Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove top.
All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from heating equipment.
Make sure everyone in your home knows the smoke alarm sound and what to do if they hear it.
Find two ways out of every room.
Make sure doors and windows are not blocked.
Get outside to your meeting place.
Make sure you close your bedroom door at night.
Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. Additionally, fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

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