This time of year, expectations of cooler weather and holiday celebrations go hand in hand, but what people don’t expect or plan for is the potential for home fires which increase significantly during the fall and winter months.

October is National Fire Prevention Month. The kickoff for the event begins, October 8th – 14th during National Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!,” is urging the public to create a home fire escape plan and practice it frequently using different ways out of the home.  Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue (www.pwcgov.org/fire) in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have teamed up, once more, for National Fire Prevention Week (fpw.org) urging the public to focus on the following key messages to increase your chances of surviving a home fire:

  • Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Make sure doors and windows are not blocked.
  • Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home.
  • 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.
  • Teach your children how to report an emergency to 9-1-1.
  • 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..
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Check your smoke detector, monthly, by pushing the test button to activate the smoke detector alarm.

To learn more about home fire escape planning and other fire safety topics, take the 2017 Fire Prevention Week Quiz at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week/fire-prevention-week-quiz.

Smoke Alarms

Studies indicate, half (50%), of home fire deaths occur between 11:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. when most people are sleeping. Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee states, “When a fire occurs in the home, smoke spreads quickly; smoke alarms provide an early

warning allowing you time to escape a home fire.” When properly installed and maintained, working smoke alarms save lives and protect against injury and loss due to fire.  You double your chances of surviving a home fire with working smoke alarms compared to homes without working smoke alarms. To find out more about smoke alarms, visit www.pwcgov.org/SmokeAlarms. 

Fire Prevention Week/Month Activities in Prince William County

Station 2 – Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton (O.W.L.) Volunteer Fire Department

                    1306 F Street, Woodbridge, VA 22191

  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Nikki’s Christian Daycare & Learning Center –Thursday, October 12th, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Station 5 – Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department

                    12826 Marsteller Drive, Nokesville, VA 20181

  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Rainbow Preschool – Tuesday, October 10th & Wednesday, October 11th, 10:30 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Station 10 – Dale City Volunteer Fire Department

                      14975 Catalpa Court, Woodbridge, VA 22193

  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Girl Scouts of America, Friday, October 6th, 8:30 a.m.
  • Open House – Sunday, October 8th – Friday, October 13th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Station 11 – Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire Department

                     7814 Garner Drive, Manassas, VA 20109

  • Open House – Saturday, October 14th, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Community Outreach – Inova Health System Open House – Saturday, October 21st, 12 noon – 4 p.m.

Station 12 – Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton (O.W.L.) Volunteer Fire Department

                      2170 Montgomery Avenue, Woodbridge, VA 22191

  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Minnieland Daycare – Tuesday, October 10th, 10 a.m.
  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Potomac View Elementary – Thursday, October 12th, 10 a.m.

Station 13 – Dale City Volunteer Fire Department
                      13511 Hillendale Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22193

  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Enterprise Elementary – Wednesday, October 11th, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Minnieville Elementary – (date TBD), 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Open House – Sunday, October 8th – Friday, October 13th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Station 14 – Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton (O.W.L.) Volunteer Fire Department
                      12400 Hedges Run Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192

  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Springwoods Elementary – Tuesday, October 10th – 9 a.m.
  • Touch a Truck – Woodbridge High School – Saturday, October 14th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Open House – Saturday, October 21st, 12 noon – 3 p.m.
  • Fire Safety – Lake Ridge Fellowship House (date and time TBD) 

Station 16 – Buckhall Volunteer Fire Department

                       7190 Yates Ford Road, Manassas, VA 20111

  • Open House – Saturday, October 14th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Station 17 – Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Department
                      15219 Holleyside Drive, Montclair, VA 22025

  • Community Outreach – Four Seasons at Historic Virginia – National Firefighters Memorial Day Ceremony, Sunday, October 8th, 9 a.m.
  • General Fire Safety – Dale City Recreation Center – Tuesday, October 10th, 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
  • Community Outreach – Spaghetti Dinner – Friday, October 13th, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Station 18 – Dale City Volunteer Fire Department
                      5849 Dale Boulevard, Woodbridge, VA 22193

  • Open House – Sunday, October 8th – Friday, October 13th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Station 20 – Dale City Volunteer Fire Department
                      3171 Prince William Parkway, Woodbridge, VA 22192

  • Open House – Sunday, October 8th – Friday, October 13th, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Open House – Saturday, October 14th, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Station 23 – Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue
                      16530 River Ridge Boulevard, Woodbridge, VA 22191

  • Community Outreach – Potomac HS Homecoming Parade – Friday, October 6th, 5:15 p.m.
  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – St. Francis Church – Sunday, October 8th, 1:15 p.m.
  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool, Tuesday, October 10th, 10 a.m.
  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – Mary Williams Elementary, Tuesday, October 10th, 1:30 p.m.
  • General Fire Safety/Show & Tell – River Oaks Elementary, Thursday, October 12th, 1:00 p.m. 

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit the National Fire Protection Association at fpw.org.

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