WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Several agencies are urging people to take time this week and test their smoke alarms and practice their fire escape plans.
The Red Cross says house fires take seven lives a day in the US.
The office of the state fire marshal reports there have already been 87 fire deaths in North Carolina this year; the majority of those fires happened in homes without a working smoke alarm.
The agency also notes 2018 was the deadliest year on record for fire deaths in North Carolina.
“As cold weather increases the risk of home fires, please prepare your family now during Fire Prevention Week,” said Barry Porter, Regional CEO, American Red Cross Serving Eastern North Carolina. “Install and test smoke alarms on every level of your home, and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.”
Fire Prevention Week runs October 6-12. On Saturday, State Fire Marshal Mike Causey will hold a statewide fire drill. At 1 p.m., fire sirens will sound across the state to remind people to plan and practice their fire escape route.
“In the event of a fire, just a matter of seconds can mean the difference between life and death,” said Commissioner Causey. “Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. It’s for everyone. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly. During Fire Prevention Week, we want to educate as many people as possible to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.”