Olympia – The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is joining the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) October 6-12, 2019, to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The campaign educates community members about the important actions they can take to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and prepared in case of a fire.

Data submitted to the SFMO from around the state shows that fire departments responded to 3,120 residential structure fires from January through August 2019. These fires caused 32 deaths and 64 injuries.

Today’s homes and buildings burn faster than ever. Families often have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from their home once a smoke alarm sounds. Planning and practicing your escape in advance will help you make the most of that time and give everyone the opportunity to get out safely. Home fire escape plans should include two ways out of every room. Between January and August, 81% of fire deaths occurred from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. It is important that families practice their escape plans in the daylight as well as in the dark.

In addition to creating and practicing an escape plan, families should ensure they have working smoke alarms inside every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Residents should test their smoke alarms every month, check them regularly to ensure the batteries are operable, and replace them every ten years.

While NFPA and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are focused specifically on residential fires, this information can be applied to any location. No matter where you are, know the location of the exits and exit immediately if a fire alarm system sounds. 

For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit the SFMO’s website at or follow us on Twitter @wafiremarshal.

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