MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Between 350,000 and 400,000, that is how many house fires occur in the United States each year. Households can expect a fire every 15 years on average, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
October 7 sparked 2012's National Fire Prevention Week. From October 7 through October 13 homeowners are reminded of the dangers of house fires.
"Your household has a one in four chance of having a fire large enough to be reported to a fire department during an average lifetime," according to the NFPA.
The theme of 2012's National Fire Prevention Week is "Have 2 Ways Out." The theme encourages families to have not only one, but two escape routes mapped out in case of a fire. This will provide families a second way out in case their first option is impassable.
The American Red Cross prompts families to use National Fire Prevention Week as a time to learn about ways to prevent fires in their homes. According to a list of recommendations by the American Red Cross Association, tasks as simple as replacing smoke detector batteries or constructing an escape plan can help your family in the event of a fire.
National Fire Prevention Week dates back to 1871 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire that killed more than 250 people. "Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls," according to the NFPA.
The American Red Cross recommends the following to keep your home safe from fires:
Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.
Follow your escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Download the American Red Cross First Aid App to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies. The app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.
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