Governor Kitzhaber has proclaimed October 9 - 15 Fire Prevention Week in Oregon. The Governor, State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace and Oregon Red Cross CEO Maree Wacker, in supporting Fire Prevention Week in Oregon and across the nation, are encouraging Oregonians to take the necessary steps to protect their families from fire by having working smoke alarms, practicing a home escape plan, and to consider installing home fire sprinklers.
Read the complete news release in the attached PDF for more fire safety tips.
"Every year, the biggest disaster threat to families across Oregon is not winter storms or floods. It's home fires. This year, volunteers from the Oregon Chapters of the American Red Cross have responded to an average of 10 home fires a week in our state where families have been displaced. Hundreds of families are affected every year by this devastating personal disaster," said Maree Wacker, CEO of the Oregon Chapters of the American Red Cross.
"Fire safety always begins at home, and Fire Prevention Week is a great time to start fire safe habits," said Oregon State Fire Marshal Mark Wallace. "Last year, one out of every four structure fires was in a home with no smoke alarm or where a smoke alarm failed to operate. That's why we continuously encourage residents to test and maintain their smoke alarms to be sure they are working properly. Families should also be sure to develop a home escape plan and practice it."
The Oregon Chapters of the American Red Cross, the Office of State Fire Marshal along with fire agencies statewide are teaming up in support of October's national fire prevention campaign, Protect Your Family From Fire, to reinforce the message that fire safety starts at home.
In 2010, in Oregon there were 2,733 fires in one- & two-family dwellings resulting in 16 deaths, 172 injuries, and more than $62 million in property loss.
Remember, working smoke alarms provide an early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape and increase your chance of surviving a fire.
Additional safety tips:
• To ensure maximum protection, install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each
separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
• Replace smoke alarms 10 years old or older.
• Hard-wired alarms (those wired directly into home electrical systems) should have battery
• Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.
• If your smoke alarm sounds, immediately go outside and stay out, then call 9-1-1.
• If you need assistance with smoke alarms, contact your local fire agency.
For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact your local fire agency or visit http://
www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/CommEd_SA_Program.shtml. You can also visit www.redcross.org/
homefires for more tips.
Make a home fire escape plan today:
• Draw a map of your home showing doors and windows.
• Show two ways out of each room.
• Make sure young children, older adults, and people with disabilities can get out.
• Agree on a meeting place outside (a safe visible are where firefighters can locate you).
• Never go back in for people, pets, or personal belongings.
• Practice your plan at least twice every year during the day and night.
Download a free home fire escape map from the OSFM website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/
Home fire sprinklers are also a great idea. If you are building your own home or remodeling, consider
the life saving benefits of home fire sprinklers. For more information on home fire sprinklers visit the
OSFM website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Comm_Ed_Sprinkler_Information.shtml.
Fire Prevention Week is observed annually throughout North America and Europe, acknowledging the
anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which destroyed a large part of the city and killed 250 people
on October 9, 1871. For more information on fire safety and fire prevention week, contact your local
fire agency or visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/FPW_2011.shtml or www.redcross.org/
Contact Info: James Roddey
Director of Communications
American Red Cross, Oregon Region
503.528.5629 (w) - 503.867.4699 (c)
Rich Hoover,Public Affairs Specialist
Office of the State Fire Marshal
503-934-8217 office, or 503-370-0033 pager firstname.lastname@example.org