Imagine yourself in bed, sound asleep, when the smoke alarm begins to blare. Do you know what to do? More importantly, do your kids know what to do? 

This week, Oct. 9-15, is the 100th anniversary of National Fire Prevention Week, a time when fire departments across the country hold events reminding families of the importance iof making a plan to escape a fire. This year’s theme is: “Fire won’t wait. Plan your Escape.”

“It’s important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different,” said Wichita Fire Chief Elizabeth Snow. “Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Make sure that someone will help them.”

Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at the National Fire Prevention Association, warned that homes burn fast, so fast that you and your family may have as little as two minutes (or even less) from the time the smoke alarm sounds to get out safely.

The Wichita Fire Department shares these key home fire escape planning tips:

  1. Make sure your plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
  2. Install smoke alarms inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
  3. Know at least two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows are easy to open.
  4. Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
  5. Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household. Practice at least once during the day and once at night.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Wichita please contact Wichita Fire Department at, (316) 268-4441, and follow WFD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and NextDoor.  For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention in general, visit and