Wichita Fire Department teaches emergency preparation during Fire Prevention Week

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Wichita firefighters are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association October 6-12 to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in house fires. 

The NFPA reports house fires killed 2,630 people in 2017 and injured 10,600. In Wichita, fires killed two people and injured dozens more. 

Fire Marshall Stuart Bevis said fires are typically preventable and caused by careless discarding of cigarettes or unattended cooking. 

His hope is to teach Wichita citizens how to prevent the fires from happening in the first place and how to escape if needed. 

"Have your plan, practice your plan, especially if you have small children," said Bevis. He encourages parents to discuss the plan with their children and designate a meeting place. 

In addition, Bevis encouraged all residents to install a smoke alarm and close bedroom doors before going to sleep, 

He said having situational awareness is the key to survival no matter where a fire breaks out. 

"Whether you're in a restaurant or a theater or you're home, you always want to know how to get out if an emergency occurs," said Bevis, "If a fire occurs, the alarm goes off, how can you escape in the most efficient manner to get out and get away from the danger?"

The week's theme is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" See below for a full list of activities and events. 

Tuesday, October 8 - "5th Grade Fire Prevention Zoo Adventure"
In cooperation with area fire departments and injury prevention coalitions and agencies, area fifth grade students and teachers will have the opportunity to interact with firefighters, practice fire safety measures and view fire equipment while enjoying the Sedgwick County Zoo. This event is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 9- "Fun 'N' Learning at the YMCA"
North Branch YMCA.  Area grade schools, home schools and special needs children are invited to attend this outdoor event where they have the opportunity to interact with the Wichita Fire Department and area injury prevention coalition partners.  Youth will be able to experience the department’s Mobile Prevention Experience Unit, enjoy a puppet show, try on firefighter gear and get a close up view of several fire apparatus.  Partners in the event include WPD, Safe Kids, EVERGY (WESTAR) and the Kansas Highway Patrol. This event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Branch YMCA, 3330 N. Woodlawn.

Thursday, October 10- "Mobile Prevention Experience"
A fire prevention caravan dedicated to child safety in the home, the special “smoke house” will visit area schools to instill the importance of smoke alarms in the home and having a fire escape plan, and sleeping with your door closed.  Programs are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. with stops at two Wichita area schools.

Friday, October 11- "Smoke Alarm Blitz"
Do you need a smoke alarm or know someone who does?  Wichita Firefighters will be out installing free smoke alarms and/or batteries for people in our community who are in need.  Carbon Monoxide detectors are also available.  Please call 268-4441, Monday - Friday from 8-5, to schedule an appointment.

Saturday October 12- "Practice and Learn/Visit Your Neighborhood Fire Station"
On this last day of Fire Prevention Week, we encourage residents to visit their local station from 1-3 p.m.. Children will be able to go through the updated Practice and Learn (PAL) program, actually learning how to escape a fire in the home.  Visit www.wichita.gov/fire for station locations.

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