The leaves are changing, and the weather is cooling down! It’s October, and it’s time for bonfires, fireplaces, and heaters to start taking center stage. Make sure your home is prepared for a fire-safe fall. By testing your smoke alarms, installing a carbon monoxide detector to combat “the silent killer”, and reviewing your family’s fire escape plan – Tennesseans will be better protected from home fires and life safety challenges.
Look. Listen. Learn.
Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere. Fire prevention week is October 7-13, 2018.
This year’s FPW 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.
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. Over the years, thousands of cities have participated in Fire Prevention Week and expanded the prevention awareness throughout the month
of October. Source: NFPA
Tennessee now 11th in the Nation
Tennessee historically has had a high fire mortality rate along with many other southern states. In fact, 9 of the top 10 highest fire mortality states are in the U.S. Census Southern Regions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported Tennessee’s 2006-2010 fire mortality rate to be 19.3 deaths per million, which means for every 1 million people in Tennessee, 19.3 deaths occur annually. The 19.3 deaths per million rate gave Tennessee the nation’s 8th highest fire mortality rate in 2010.
In 2017, NFPA released an updated report on the nation’s fire mortality rates. Tennessee’s fire mortality rate dropped from 19.3 deaths per million (2006-2010) to 14.6 deaths per million (2011-2015), a 24% reduction. This is the single largest reduction in fire mortality rate in Tennessee’s recorded history. In addition, Tennessee’s ranking among the nation’s fire mortality rates dropped from 8th to 11th.
Fire Fatalities and Mortality Rate In Tennessee
As of September 14th, 2018, 77 accidental or undetermined civilian structure fire fatalities have been reported. Of the fatalities so far, 75 resulted from fires on residential property, one resulted from a fire on a commercial property, and one resulted from a fire on industrial property. There had been 56 fatalities by this date in 2017, and 53 by this date in 2016. The last confirmed fatal fire was in Chester County where a male resident died in a house fire on August 25th.
Review complete fire statistics for the State of Tennessee – sourced by Department of Commerce and Insurance, State of Tennessee