During Fire Prevention Week Gloucester Fire Department Urges Residents to Be Aware: ‘Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape’

Chief Eric Smith and the Gloucester Fire Department urge all residents to be aware and to follow these basic tips to help protect their loved ones during Fire Prevention Week, which is being recognized this year from Oct. 9 to 15.
Fire Prevention Week is organized by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and has been recognized for 100 years as of 2022. The goal of Fire Prevention Week is to educate the public about simple but important ways they can keep themselves and those they live with safe.
This year’s theme, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape,” aims to get everyone to make a fire escape plan with their families, and to begin their preparations by ensuring their home has working smoke alarms that will properly alert in the event of a fire.
The NFPA says residents may have less than two minutes to safely escape in the event of a fire, so planning ahead is crucial.
Gloucester Fire Department and the NFPA urge all community members to take the following steps to ensure they have effective, working smoke alarms:
  • Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Test all of your smoke alarms by pushing the test button. If it makes a loud beep, beep, beep sound, you know it’s working. If there is no sound or the sound is low, it’s time to replace the battery. If the smoke alarm is older than 10 years old, you need to replace the whole unit.
  • If your smoke alarm makes a “chirp,” that means it needs a new battery. Change the battery right away.

Gloucester Fire Department and the NFPA also urge community members to take the following steps to prepare a fire escape plan:
  • Draw a map of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
  • Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure they are part of the plan.
  • Make sure all escape routes are clear and not blocked by debris or objects, and that doors and windows open easily.
  • Pick an outside meeting place (something permanent like a neighbor’s house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) that is a safe distance from your home where everyone can meet.
  • Everyone in the home should know to immediately call 911 once they are safely outside.
  • Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice daytime and nighttime home fire drills. Share your home escape plans with overnight guests.
Residents are also reminded of the importance of having large and clearly visible house numbers to help first responders easily find your home. Numbers should be facing the street, visible at night and not blocked by trees or bushes. Those with long driveways should have house numbers on both sides of a mailbox or sign pole at the end of their driveway near the roadway.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, or to speak to your local Fire Prevention officers about steps you can take to protect your family, contact Gloucester Fire at the non-emergency line (978) 281-9760 or contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at (978) 325-5300 option 2.
To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, click here.

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