In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents escaping or dying. That's why the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!" Everyone needs to have an escape plan.
During Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8 -14, the Wichita Fire Department (WFD) is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind local residents to be prepared practice the plan. In 2016, the nation's fire departments responded to 365,500 home fires, which resulted in 2,560 civilian deaths. Conditions in a modern house fire contribute to a much smaller window of time for people to escape safely, sometimes in as little as two minutes after a smoke alarm sounds.
"Unfortunately, many people treat the sounding of a smoke alarm as a nuisance to be ignored," said Wichita Fire Marshal Stuart Bevis. "In reality, the alarm is an urgent call to action. It is the first step to enact a plan to get you and your family out of danger and to summon help."
Steps you can take to prepare an escape plan:
Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building. Call 911 once you are safe.
As part of our prevention efforts during this week, the WFD has several activities planned. See the attached schedule for details. For more questions, please call 268-4441, visit
www.wichita.gov, or find the WFD on Facebook.
Fire Prevention Week Schedule
Monday October 9th - School Fire Drills
Unannounced fire drills conducted by Fire Prevention staff and Fire Crews at 15 Wichita area schools. Drills will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day until approximately 3 p.m.
Tuesday October 10th - 5th Grade Fire Prevention Zoo Adventure
In cooperation with area fire departments and injury prevention coalitions and agencies, area fifth grade students and teachers will have the opportunity to interact with firefighters, practice fire safety measures and view fire equipment while enjoying the Sedgwick County Zoo. This event is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesday October 11th - Fun "N" Learning at the North YMCA
Area grade schools, home schools and special needs children are invited to attend this outdoor event where they have the opportunity to interact with the Wichita Fire Department and area injury-prevention coalition partners. Youth will be able to experience the department's Mobile Prevention Experience Unit, enjoy a puppet show, try on firefighter gear and get an up-close view of fire apparatus. Partners in the event include WPD, Safe Kids, WESTAR and the Kansas Highway Patrol. This event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Branch YMCA, 3330 N. Woodlawn.
Thursday October 12th - Mobile Prevention Experience
A fire prevention caravan dedicated to child safety in the home, the special "smoke house" will be taken to area schools to instill the importance of smoke alarms in the home and having a fire escape plan. Programs are scheduled to start at 9 a.m., with stops at two Wichita area schools.
Friday October 13th – Smoke Alarm Blitz
Do you need a smoke alarm or know someone who does? Wichita Firefighters will be out installing free smoke alarms and/or batteries for people who are in need. Carbon Monoxide detectors are also available. Please call (316) 268-4441 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.
Saturday October 14th – Visit Your Neighborhood Fire Station
Residents are always welcomed to stop in to their neighborhood fire station to meet local firefighters and take a tour of the fire department's apparatus. See the Fire Department page at www.wichita.gov for station locations.