Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week 2018

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere

Chief Watkins Accepts 2018 Fire Prevention Week ProclamationThe Melissa City Council and Mayor Reed Greer have joined the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and countless communities across the US in proclaiming October 7-13, 2018 Fire Prevention Week (FPW). Pictured to the right accepting the proclamation, Chief Watkins stresses the importance of continuing to spread this message of prevention to the community. "Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. 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. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice." Stated Melissa Fire Chief Harold Watkins. NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980. This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate 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 meet.
  • “LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
While NFPA and the Melissa Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere. “Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Chief Watkins. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

fpw-logo-200x200The Melissa Fire Department will be working in coordination with the NFPA (the official sponsor of FPW for over 90 years) to reinforce this messaging throughout the week by sharing helpful safety tips on their Melissa Fire Department facebook page and more. Additionally members of the department will be visiting with various community groups throughout the month, including their annual visit to the Melissa Public Library Story Time on Friday, October 19 at 10:30 a.m. which is always a hit with the preschoolers and parents both! “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference escape planning and practice can make and motivating them to action.” Shared Chief Watkins.

To start taking action with home escape planning in your household, please visit where you will find a number of helpful tips and activities for the whole family!

About Fire Prevention Week:

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by the Melissa Fire Department along with fire departments across the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.  Click here for full background

Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls.