Atlanta – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) want to remind Georgians that Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14. The theme for 2017 is, “Every Second Counts; Plan 2 Ways Out!”


This year, Commissioner Hudgens and fire personnel around the state will be spreading the word about the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home and reinforcing why everyone needs to have and practice an escape plan.


“Most fatal fires start between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the family is asleep,” said Commissioner Hudgens. “Nine out of 10 fire victims are already dead before the fire department is even called, mainly from smoke and toxic gases.  The advance warning of a smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death.”


So far in 2017, fire has claimed the lives of 84 Georgians, with 74 of those deaths occurring in residential housing. In 61 of the residential housing deaths, fire investigators were unable to determine if a working smoke alarm was present.


Hudgens also urges all residents to have a planned fire escape route from their home, and a designated meeting place to ensure everyone has escaped.  Families should practice their escape route, so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.


Commissioner Hudgens and NFPA offer the following tips when planning and practicing your escape plan:


  • Draw a map of your home, including all the doors and windows
  • Find two ways out of every room
  • Make sure doors and windows are not blocked
  • Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home
  • Practice your drill with everyone in the home
  • Get outside to your meeting place


“The dense smoke and heat from a house fire can cause people to panic,” Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence said.  “Having a pre-planned escape path from every room can significantly increase your chances of survival.”


For more information on planned activities during Fire Prevention Week, please contact your local fire department or call our Fire Safety Education Division at 404-656-2070.