HONOLULU (KHON2) - This week is Fire Prevention Week, and firefighters across the country are urging the public to keep safety top of mind.
Here in Hawaii, the week kicked off at Honolulu Zoo, and firefighters are holding community events and station visits all week long.
This year's theme is: "Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere."
"We should be looking for things we can avoid. They found that four out of every five deaths occur in the home, so we're focusing on home safety, and the primary and most leading cause of fires is cooking. That's nearly half of all the home fires we have," said Capt. Scot Seguirant, Honolulu Fire Department. "We definitely don't want anyone to be storing any kind of combustibles on their stovetops or near that area, and we want to make sure that you're aware that when you're cooking something, you're watching it."
There are three basic, but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire, and how to escape safely in the event of one:
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
"Listen would mean you listen for your smoke alarm or smoke detector, and that also implies you actually have one. There's a lot of homes that don't have them," said Seguirant.
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance.
It's observed each year during the week of Oct. 9 in commemoration of 1871's Great Chicago Fire, which killed more than 250 people.