Consider this scenario: It’s 2 a.m. and you and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” as the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, which is being held Oct. 8-14.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds, which is why NFPA is focusing on creating and executing fire escape plans so when a fire does happen, it doesn’t end in tragedy.

“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy.

The NFPA is encouraging all households to draw a map of their home and sit down with all members of the household to find two ways out of each room. Each exit should also include a path to the outside.

A fire drill should then be practiced twice a year, including one during the night and one during the day. Every time you practice should also use different ways out of the home.

The NFPA also suggests making sure children can exit your home without a parent’s help and to teach everyone to never re-enter a burning home.

Other important safety tips that will help firemen include making sure your home is clearly marked so it is easy for the fire department to find and close doors behind you as you leave so that it slows the spread of the fire.

NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years. For more information on this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” visit

About Fire Prevention Week

NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the U.S. has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925.

About NFPA

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, non-profit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education and outreach and advocacy. It also partners with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit


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