Kansas joins National Fire Prevention Week efforts Oct. 7-13


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Governor Jeff Colyer has officially proclaimed this week, Oct. 7-13, as Fire Prevention Week in the State of Kansas to align with National Fire Prevention Week.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and Safe Kids Kansas teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 90 years — to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.

In Kansas, 100 percent of civilian fire deaths in 2017 occurred in residential structure fires, and there were 2,589 residential fires in Kansas in 2017, resulting in 18 deaths and 214 injuries.

NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

While people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.

“We know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal, said. “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.”
Safe Kids Kansas reminds families that Saturday, Oct. 13, is Home Fire Drill Day. This is an opportunity to plan, talk about and practice your fire plan with all your family members, especially young children, so they know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm.

“Teach children to get low and get out when they hear the smoke alarm,” Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas, said. “A child who has practiced getting out of the home and to a safe meeting spot will have a better chance of getting out of danger safely during a real emergency , so practice your escape plan regularly as a family.”
Jorgensen says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire.

Look for places fire could start.
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
Learn two ways out of every room.

While OSFM, Safe Kids Kansas and NFPA are focusing on home fires, these fire safety
messages apply to virtually anywhere.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” Jorgensen said. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

For more information about Fire Prevention Week activities in Kansas, visit firemarshal.ks.gov. To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn.” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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