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Fire Prevention Week kicks off with mass, awards ceremony

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Posted at 5:18 PM, Oct 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-06 18:18:11-04

Fire Prevention Week begins Sunday, October 6, 2019. The slogan this year is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape, Plan and Practice Your Escape."

The Lafayette Fire Department is participating with events all week.

Today there was a mass at St. John's Cathedral, and the awards ceremony for the Fire Prevention Week Poster and Essay Contest. We were there at the Robicheaux Center and will have more later today on KATC TV3. Kids in grades fourth through eighth participated, and the Zonta Club of Lafayette judged the essays.

The Lafayette 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, "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

NFPA statistics show that in 2017 U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016.

"These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. "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. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.

While NFPA and the Lafayette Fire Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

"Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go," said Fire Chief Robert Benoit. "No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately."

Also planned this week are fire safety classes for local kids at the Central Fire Station downtown.

For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.fpw.org.