Fire prevention

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Fire prevention is a function of many fire departments. The goal of fire prevention is to educate the public to take precautions to prevent potentially harmful fires, and be educated about surviving them. It is a proactive method of reducing emergencies and the damage caused by them. Many fire departments have a Fire Prevention Officer.

In the general sense of preventing harmful fires, many aspects are discussed in the articles Fire protection and Fire safety.

Target audiences[edit]


Students are often the primary target of fire prevention. Firefighters will visit schools and teach students the basics of fire prevention. Workshops should be conducted in schools for educating students for the effects of fires and how to deal with it and prevent fire

Senior citizens[edit]

Along with young children, seniors have been identified as an "at risk" group, especially in hazardous situations. It is important that seniors have pre-planned their escape routes and have access to emergency exits, for example.


In many jurisdictions, landlords are responsible for implementing fire prevention and fire safety measures in accordance with various laws.[1]


Fire prevention education can take the form of videos, pamphlets, and banners. Often, the messages and lessons are simple tips. Effective and important lessons and messages include:

Stop, drop and roll[edit]

If one's clothing catches on fire, the most effective method of extinguishing the fire is to stop, drop to the ground, and roll back and forth to smother the flame. Running around will simply fan the flames.

Smoke detectors save lives[edit]

  • Working smoke detectors reduce the chances of death in a fire by half.[2]
  • Nearly 900 lives could be saved annually if every home had working smoke detectors.[2]
  • Even just one smoke detector reduces the chances of death by almost half.[3]
  • Nearly half of all fire survivors remember hearing their smoke alarm.[3]
  • Deaths due to fire have decreased by half since the invention of the smoke detector.[4]
  • Most deaths due to fire occur at night when people are sleeping.[5]

Smoke detector maintenance[edit]

  • The most common cause of smoke detector failure is missing or disconnected batteries.[2]
  • Nuisance alarms are the most common reason for deliberately disconnecting batteries.[2]
  • Missing, disconnected, or dead batteries account for 73% of smoke detector failures.[2]
  • There are more homes with no working smoke detectors than there are homes without any smoke detectors at all. There are millions of homes in each category.[3]
  • Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home.
  • Change your batteries twice a year.
  • Clean your detectors also.
  • Replace the entire unit every ten years.
  • Disconnecting your batteries, for any reason, is dangerous and illegal.

Don't just leave to do something else[edit]

One of the most common reasons for fires is how people often leave stoves, ovens, toasters, clothing irons, barbecues, and candles unattended.

Firefighters are your friends[edit]

One of the most critical jobs of a firefighter is search and rescue. For young children, it is important that firefighters are seen as people they can follow and trust. A firefighter in bunker gear breathing with an air tank can be scary. One way a child can get used to or trust a firefighter is seeing a firefighter dress up step by step seeing that it is a person inside. Furthermore, being able to walk up and touch the firefighter can reassure the child that he or she is a real person. (This has already been implemented by many fire departments across the US during Fire Prevention Week.)

Don’t play with fire[edit]

Playing with fire causes many unnecessary emergencies, and hurts and kills many people, and is a leading cause of forest fires.

False alarms kill[edit]

False alarms waste valuable manpower and resources, which may be needed desperately at a real emergency. Also, any time firefighters ride trucks, they are at risk. Eighteen percent of firefighter deaths occur while responding to calls.[6]

Fire Prevention Week[edit]

Fire Prevention Week is observed in the United States in October.[7]

  • 2009 - October 4–10 Theme: "Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned"
  • 2010 - October 3–9 Theme: TBA

Many fire departments observe "Fire Prevention Month" for all of October. Fire departments may visit schools, hang banners, give firehouse tours or hold open houses.


  1. ^ "Fire Prevention". H2O Fire Sprinklers. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Smoke Alarms in Reported U.S. Home Fire U.S. Experience with Smoke Alarms, NFPA Fire Analysis and Research, Quincy, Massachusetts
  3. ^ a b c Smoke Detector Facts
  4. ^ Smoke Detectors Village of Greendale, Wisconsin
  5. ^ Smoke Alarm Fact Sheet The Fire Marshall’s Public Fire Safety Council, Ontario Public Fire Safety Council
  6. ^ National Fire Prevention Association
  7. ^ National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)

See also[edit]