‘Look. Listen. Learn’ during Fire Prevention Week in North Tahoe district | SierraSun.com

‘Look. Listen. Learn’ during Fire Prevention Week in North Tahoe district

Sierra Sun staff

North Tahoe Fire and Meeks Bay Fire are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association — the sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years — to promote this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere."

The campaign seeks to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.

According to a news release, statistics show the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1,000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980. While people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home.

"Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives," said North Tahoe Fire Chief Mike Schwartz. "We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference that escape planning and practice can make."

Schwartz says this year's campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:

Look for places fire could start.

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Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.

Learn two ways out of every room.

"While we 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," Schwartz said. "No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately and stay out."

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit http://www.firepreventionweek.org.