This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “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 should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
- “LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
Also, Sparky the Fire Dog® has a new friend, Simon, who is helping teach this year’s FPW messages – He’s a smart, resourceful character who will join Sparky in spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike.
About Fire Prevention Week
Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
Importance of Fire Prevention
In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.
While children under 5 and adults over 65 are at the highest risk for injury or death in a fire, people of all ages are vulnerable. In fact, the risk of a nonfatal fire injury is highest for those between 20 and 49, showing that fire safety education is essential for everyone. Additional risk factors include race, socio-economic status, education level, and geographic location.
The purpose of Fire Prevention Week is to bring awareness to the risk of death in case of a fire and provide educational resources to people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic status in order to keep everyone safe.
UND Campus Fire Safety Awareness
UND Office of Safety and UND Housing have combined efforts to provide various opportunities to educate our UND community in fire safety prevention. The campaign is aimed to bring fire safety awareness with the hopes that everyone has a safe and healthy learning experience here at UND.
This year’s annual events will host many opportunities for the targeted audiences to attend and participate in including:
- RA Fire Extinguisher Training: UND Office of Safety has teamed up with the Grand Forks Fire Department to train RAs in the proper use of a fire extinguisher. RAs will use an extinguisher to suppress an actual fire using the PASS method (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep). This activity will be held outdoors following an in-class fire extinguisher training.
- Resident Hall Fire Drill: Live fire drills will be conducted in select resident halls throughout the year. The drills are intended as a proactive approach to evacuating a building in the event of a fire or other emergency. The fire alarm is activated and residents evacuate the building as if the emergency had occurred. The Office of Safety will be onsite overseeing the event and available for questions.
- Fire Safety Month (September 2018): UND Housing is pleased to present a month jam-packed with events for on campus resident hall students including “Chips & Tips Snacks and Prevention”, “The Fire Fighter Challenge”, “Bullseye! Hands-on Fire Extinguisher Training Day”, “Children’s Fire Safety Fair/Apartment Community Monthly Meal”, and “After the Fire Movie Night & Special Guest Speakers, Shawn Simons & Alvaro Llanos”. There will also be an opportunity for resident hall students to navigate through a hallway filled with smoke produced by a simulated smoke training tool.
- UND Community Hands-on Fire Extinguisher Training: Ever wonder what it’s like to discharge a fire extinguisher? The UND Office of Safety has the tools to allow UND affiliated departments to take a crack at putting out a live fire. Each participant will use an extinguisher to suppress an actual fire using the PASS method (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep). If interested please contact the UND Office of Safety at 701-777-3341 for scheduling.
— Derek Gosselin, Environmental Health & Safety Manager/Radiation Safety Officer/Laser Safety Officer, Office of Safety