WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The 788th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department held its Fire Prevention Week kickoff event Sept. 30, at the Wright Care Child Development Center in the Prairies housing area.
This year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”
Different activities and games were held to educate the community, especially children, on how to escape safely during a fire.
“Everyone should have a plan for how they and their family are going to escape at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, how they want to get out, and where are they going to go or meet outside until emergency responders arrive,” said Larry Osterhage, assistant fire chief.
During the event, children saw firetrucks and took part in a “Firefighter Challenge,” which gave them an opportunity to explore and simulate escaping a fire. Carnival games and the fire safety “Hazard House” were among other activities.
“One thing I hope people take from this is that they go home and plan their family escape so they can be safe when an emergency does happen, and ensure they have the tools to be safe with their family and live another day,” Osterhage said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 71% of Americans have a fire-escape plan, but only 47% have practiced it. When a fire starts, there are only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 9-15. It aims to inform everyone about simple-but-important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.
“No. 1, it’s for safety” said Sharita Hayes, Prairies School Age Center coordinator. “Fire Prevention Week is just a fresh reminder that people make sure they’re doing what they need to do in their homes, and they talk to their kids about it.”
Learn more about fire-prevention efforts and planning home-escape routes at firepreventionweek.org.