DENVER (KDVR) — A fire can double in size in 60 seconds. “Fire won’t wait, plan your escape.” That’s the theme of the 2022 National Fire Prevention Week campaign.

The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) is joining the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the campaign to increase awareness of fire safety, prevention and preparedness.

The Denver Fire Department tells FOX31 90% of homes in the metro area have smoke detectors but 20% are not in working order.

Firefighters recommend you change your smoke alarm batteries once a year, but test your alarm each month. Household appliances should be updated and in good condition.

Steve Kornegay of West Metro Fire Rescue tells FOX31, “Running our heaters and our furnaces and our fireplaces, all of those things need to be inspected and cleaned.”

Understand instructions for the safe use of space heaters, which include using an automatic shut-off feature and never running electric cords under rugs or between mattresses.

DFD’s Captain J.D. Chism tells the Problem Solvers every family should have an escape plan that includes identifying two ways out of the home.

“Make sure that plan is realistic, if I’m 70 years old I don’t want my escape route to be out the window, it’s not a practical plan, I want to have something I can do when my brain is moving at a thousand miles an hour” he said.

If you become trapped inside, let the fire department know your exact location in the home.
DFD tells FOX31 when sheltering in place, a quality door can keep you safe. Use wet towels to seal the door to protect yourself from smoke.

“You get that towel wet just to absorb some of that heat then we’re going to want to get it to cover the entire gap so that we can keep that smoke out,” said Chism.

Those living in high rise buildings should locate stairwells and be well aware of emergency procedures.

“Walk down those stairs or shelter in place but do not take the elevators when there’s a fire,” said Chism.

He adds that your family’s emergency escape plan should be practiced at least twice a year.

“It’s that muscle memory, right? If we’re practiced, if we know what we’re going to do when we’re going to do it, then we don’t have to think about it,” he said.

Captain Chism advises putting together a “go-bag” with medication, copies of identification and other things you need for quick and easy access in the case of an emergency.

Families and friends should have a designated emergency meet up place away from the home.
For more information about fire prevention, click here.