Not every hero wears a cape: Plan and practice your escape

NUTLEY, NJ — Under the direction of Commissioner Alphonse Petracco, Deputy Chief Paul Cafone and the Nutley Fire Department teamed up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7 to 11, to urge residents “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape: Plan and Practice Your Escape.” This year’s campaign recognizes the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan; these seemingly basic behaviors can have life-saving impact.

“This year’s campaign works to celebrate people of all ages who learn about home fire escape planning and practice, bring that information home, and spur their families to action,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “From young students who learn about the campaign at school to parents who attend a community event like a fire station open house, all of them truly are heroes because they’re taking steps to make their households much, much safer from fire.”

In 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to 499,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 14,670 civilian injuries, 3,400 civilian deaths, and $21.0 billion in direct damage.

“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 Deputy Fire Chief Paul Cafone of the Nutley 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.”

In addition to the recommendations from the “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape, Plan and Practice your Escape” campaign, the Nutley Fire Department recommends the following tips for establishing an escape plan in your home:
Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.

Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.