FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 4th, 2018
ROME TOWNSHIP, OH - As Fire Prevention Week approaches, the Rome Volunteer Fire Department encourages residents to “Look. Listen. Learn.” What does that mean?
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.
The Rome Volunteer Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) -‑‑ the official 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™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.
NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires have 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.
“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”
Carli also notes that although 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. That overconfidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.
“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 newly appointed Chief Nick Kuhn, of the Rome Volunteer Fire Department. “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.”
Chief Kuhn says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:
· Look for places fire could start.
· Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
· Learn 2 ways out of every room.
While NFPA and the Rome Volunteer 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 Kuhn. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”
The Rome Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn.,” including a free smoke detector drive this Saturday, October 6th, 2018. Staff members from the department will be canvasing the community installing & testing smoke detectors, as well as replacing smoke detector batteries. Residents of Rome Township and the Village of Athalia can make appointments for smoke detector tests and installation on the department’s Facebook page, by clicking here, or by calling 740-886-6770.
Smoke detectors are available first come, first serve to residents of Rome Township and the Village of Athalia. There is a limit to 3 smoke detectors per household.
Also, the department will be hosting fire prevention activities at Fairland Local Schools during the week of fire prevention. Educational material will be sent home with each student to better prepare families for the threat of fire and household emergencies. Students will be trained to stay low, crawl to safety in a smoke simulator, and pre-plan meeting places for their family.
Wrapping up Fire Prevention Week, the department’s annual parade will take place on Sunday, October 14th, 2018 and features this year’s peer-elected Fire Queen Maddi Flynn from Fairland High School. Lineup is at 1:00pm at Old Lock 27 near the Fairland Board of Education. The parade will start at 2:00pm and will travel Beulah Lane (County Road 411) to the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, then turn left on County Road 107 and end at the department’s main station. Participating departments and community members are welcome back to the Rome Volunteer Fire Department’s Main Station at 9666 County Road 107 for refreshments and a special ceremony.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit http://www.romefire.org.
The Rome Volunteer Fire Department, established in 1962, is comprised of 25 members serving the citizens of Rome Township and the Village of Athalia. Lead by Chief Nick Kuhn, the department serves a 36 square-mile area and responds to an average of 400 calls for service per year. Rome Fire Department shares mutual aid agreements with neighboring fire departments in Lawrence & Gallia counties in Ohio and Cabell County, West Virginia.