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. National work on best practices is in the Vision 2020 program.
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.
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.
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
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.
- Working smoke detectors reduce the chances of death in a fire by half.
- Nearly 900 lives could be saved annually if every home had working smoke detectors.
- Even just one smoke detector reduces the chances of death by almost half.
- Nearly half of all fire survivors remember hearing their smoke alarm.
- Deaths due to fire have decreased by half since the invention of the smoke detector.
- Most deaths due to fire occur at night when people are sleeping.
Smoke detector maintenance
- The most common cause of smoke detector failure is missing or disconnected batteries.
- Nuisance alarms are the most common reason for deliberately disconnecting batteries.
- Missing, disconnected, or dead batteries account for 73% of smoke detector failures.
- 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.
- 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.
Wet pipe sprinkler systems
A wet-pipe sprinkler system is an automatic sprinkler system in which the supply valves are open and the system is charged with water under supply pressure at all times. For this reason, they are the quickest at getting water on the fire and are the simplest to maintain. Wet pipe systems are installed where indoor temperatures can he maintained at or above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Below that temperature, there is the danger of freezing pipes. If the outside temperature is below freezing and the interior temperature is less than forty degrees Fahrenheit, the steel sprinkler piping, which rapidly conducts heat and rapidly loses it, will drop below freezing. The frozen area may be isolated and near an opening or uninsulated portion of the building. It may be a small area, but it could be enough to put the whole system out of service.
Don't just leave to do something else
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
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, 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 been implemented by many fire departments across the US during Fire Prevention Week.)
Don't play with fire
Playing with fire causes many unnecessary emergencies, it hurts and kills many people.
False alarms kill
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.
Fire prevention division
The Fire Prevention Division is a group of firefighters who conduct building inspections to make sure they are compliant with fire codes; they also visit schools and daycare centers to make presentations about arson, malicious false alarms, and fire safety. Fire Prevention Officers also conduct tours of their fire house for visitors. They demonstrate what each of their apparatuses does, and sometimes will don their bunker gear to show what a fire-fighter wears into a fire.
A normal fire prevention division consists of a Chief Fire Prevention Officer, below whom are Fire Prevention Officers. Those in the Fire Prevention Division have their own insignia, such as epaulets with two thin bars that read "FIRE PREVENTION OFFICER" below them; crescents on their helmets; and collar pins. Depending on its budget, a Division may have its own fire vehicle.
In Canada the national Fire Protection division is known as FIPRECAN, and is the national voice for fire protection and education in Canada. FIPRECAN is a non-profit charitable agency founded in 1976. They educate the public themselves as well as forming a partnership with fire services. David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada, is one of the patrons.
Fire Prevention Canada primarily promotes and educates by:
- Working with all levels of the government
- Working with fire services to promote fire prevention week activities
- Working with other fire prevention and safety organizations
- Partnering with the Federal Government of Canada
On their website Fiprecan.ca, many safety educational materials can be found. These forms are downloadable and printable. All of the information is free of charge. A few of the available topics are listed below.
- Cooking precautions
- Babysitters guide
- Escape plan
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke alarm
- Farm safety
October 3-9 is fire protection week in Canada. Various fire organizations and fire professionals from all across the country attend, along with a number of students and teachers. Songs and entertainment regarding to fire safety is also available making fire education fun. Guest speakers are also a large part of fire protection week. Children also generally receive prizes.
In Alberta, Canada, Alberta Industrial Fire Association is a dominant fire safety educator. They host events year-round ranging from conferences, to skill competitions. A number of presentations can be found on their website aifpa.org regarding a wide variety of topics such as a) Awareness and Planning b) Safety Products c) General Tips
Alberta Industrial Fire Association was founded in 1989 by Len Freeman and Brian Lamond. Alberta Industrial Fire Association's mission statement is: To promote awareness of industrial fire protection and emergency services by information sharing, joint problem solving to minimize damage, loss and injury throughout the industry in the Province of Alberta.
Fire Prevention Week
Main article: Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week is observed in the United States in October.
- 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.
We are pleased to announce the 2015 Fire Prevention Essay Contest. The contest is open to all fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students in Washington County. The topic for this year is “Home Fire Safety”. All essay must be written on this topic to be eligible. There will be five (5) winners selected from each grade for a total of twenty (20) winning essays. The 1st place winners of each grade will receive $100 dollars, and 2nd through 5th place will receive $20 dollars. The fire prevention committee will notify the winners by mail and/or phone. A complimentary luncheon and awards presentations will be held on October 11, 2015 at 11:00am at the Washington County Fire Academy, 895 Western Avenue, Washington, PA 15301. All essays must be postmarked no later than October 2, 2015. If you should have any questions please feel free to contact Chairman Jon Kimberland via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (412) 251-7908.
2015 Fire Prevention Essay Contest Registration Form
MAIL ESSAYS TO:
Washington County Firemens’ Association
Attn: Jon Kimberland
100 W. Beau Street, Suite C1
Washington, PA 15301
- The deadline for the contest is October 2, 2015. All essays must be postmarked by this date.
- Essays must be the original work of the student.
- Essays must relate to the 2015 topic “Home Fire Safety”
- All essays must have a registration form attached
- The students name cannot be on the essay.
- Essays will be grouped and judge based on the students grade.
- All judges will be from the Washington County Firemens’ Association
- There will be (5) winners from each grade level of 4th-7th. The prizes are as follows:
2015 Fire Prevention Essay Contest Registration Form