ATTENTION: News Desk / Assignment Editors
MEDIA HOTLINE: 801-550-0121
SALT LAKE CITY – This year, Fire Prevention week will be Monday, Oct. 8 through Friday, Oct. 13. According to Salt Lake City Fire Marshal Chief Ryan Mellor, the 2017 Fire Prevention Safety Week theme is a particularly simple: GET OUT!
Mellor explained that every second counts in a fire emergency. “A few seconds can mean the difference between safely escaping from a fire without any harm, and sustaining a serious or fatal fire-related injury,” he said.
Mellor said the first few moments in a fire situation are critical. That’s why Salt Lake City Fire Department, along with fire departments throughout the country, is focusing on how every second counts, and the department is reminding residents to find at least two ways to get out of a burning home or business.
“Hard as it is to imagine, some individuals linger or try to gather their belongings – even in an aggressively spreading blaze,” Mellor said. “The safe, orderly and prompt evacuation of a home or business is our No. 1 priority. We don’t take it lightly. And when residents are prepared and knowledgeable, a lot of hardship can be reduced.”
Week-long education events planned
During Fire Prevention week, Monday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 15, the Salt Lake City Fire Department will be visiting various schools and safety fairs that have been planned throughout the community. In addition, Firefighters will visit several Salt Lake City Library System branches to participate in story time, and share home fire-escape plan templates with patrons.
Between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, patrons are invited to stop by – without an appointment – to tour any of the 14 Salt Lake City Fire Stations. The only note is that if firefighters are not at the station when visitors arrive, they may be out on an emergency call.)
On Friday, Oct. 13, the Salt Lake City Fire Department will host a free, family-friendly safety event with free hot dogs, drinks and chips at Station No. 5 located at 1150 E. 900 South (Harvey Milk Boulevard) between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Patrons can have hot dogs, visit the station, see fire trucks and meet firefighters and Smokey the Bear. Attendees who show fire crews their home fire-escape plan will be entered in to a prize drawing. Prizes will include gift cards, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors.
Mellor said throughout the week, the Department will emphasize six important considerations when creating a fire-escape plan.
Tips are listed below:
1. Draw a map of your home, using a grid, with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit;
2. Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
3. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
4. Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
5. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Chief Mellor said another way to help firefighters is to clearly mark your street number in a visible place in front of your home. Whether first responders are attending to a fire – or even a medical emergency – a clearly printed street address and number can dramatically improve response times.
Resources to create your own fire-escape plan
Residents can create their fire escape plan, in advance. Some resources to develop a plan include:
• Printable home fire escape plans at www.nfpa.org;
• Printable home fire escape plans at www.slcfire.com;
• Printable fire escape plans and other teaching tools at https://www.pinterest.com/saltlakefire/;
• Free downloadable escape-plan apps (such as “Fire Escape” available through respective App Stores.
NOTE: Any members of the media who would like Chief Mellor to appear on various news programs, should contact Audra Sorensen at 801-349-7954.
About the Salt Lake City Fire Department: The Salt Lake City Fire Department services about 94 square miles utilizing 14 full-time fire stations at strategic locations throughout the city. The department employs 327 sworn firefighters who provide all the first-response, emergency services in the Capital City and who provide mutual aid to other fire departments along the Wasatch Front.