Redwood City VOICE
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Redwood City VOICE

Redwood City Fire Department and Fire Agencies Across the Country Recognize October 7–13 as Fire Prevention Week

The Redwood City Fire Department is urging the communities of Redwood City and San Carlos to stay fire safe this week and every day.

The Redwood City Fire Department is urging the communities of Redwood City and San Carlos to stay fire safe during the annual Fire Prevention Week: October 7 through October 13, 2018 and every day.

During Fire Prevention Week, the Redwood City Fire Department, who protects the communities of Redwood City, San Carlos and parts of the County of San Mateo, is recognizing the National Fire Protection Association theme of Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere. The goal of this week-long campaign is to educate the community about 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.

Cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires, causing nearly half (47%) of all home fires each year, on average. Leaving cooking unattended is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

Here are some simple tips to minimize the risk of having a home cooking fire.

Heating is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires, accounting for 15% of all reported home fires, on average each year. Failure to clean heating equipment is the leading cause of home heating fires.

Follow these tips and recommendations to safely heat your home during the colder months.

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment is involved in the ignition of 34,000 U.S. home fires, on average each year. These fires involve equipment such as wiring, lighting, cords, and plugs.

Follow these guidelines for safety using electrical equipment and appliances in your home.

Candle fires are reported to U.S. fire departments an average of 24 times a day. More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

Use these tips and recommendations for using candles safely.

Smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, are major causes of U.S. home fires. In addition, fires have occurred while e-cigarettes were being used, the battery was charging, or the device was being transported; battery failures have led to small explosions.

Reduce the risk of smoking-related fires by following these recommendations.

In addition, Redwood City’s new smoking ban seeks to ban smoking of all kinds in multifamily housing units as a result of community concerns, the risk of fire and the hazards of secondhand smoke. The City regulations are already in effect for newly built dwellings (as of January 1, 2018) and will extend to existing buildings effective January 1, 2019.

For more about this smoking ban, go here.


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.

Smoke alarms are the first line of defense in a fire by alerting everyone in time to get out safely. In fact, having smoke alarms in your home cuts your risk of dying in a fire in half.

Make sure your home is adequately equipped with working smoke alarms. To learn more go here.


Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Develop a home escape plan with all members of your family. Practice your plan with everyone in your home twice a year.

The good news is that the number of home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. This means people are getting better at preventing fires from happening. Unfortunately, the likelihood of dying in a home fire today has actually increased. NFPA’s most recent data shows that the home fire death risk was 10% higher in 2016 than in 1980. This means there’s still a lot of work to do in educating the community about how to safely escape a home fire.

When you’re out and about, situational awareness is key. Remember to be aware of your surroundings and make a plan for how you would escape a building in the event of a fire or other emergency. If you hear the fire alarm system sound, take it seriously and exit the building calmly but quickly. This is particularly important in larger buildings like malls and movie theaters, where it may be too late to escape if you wait to see evidence of fire.


Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

In a fire, seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay fire safe.

For more tips to stay fire safe and learn the best ways to protect life and property from a fire, go here.

For the National Fire Protection Association’s website for more resources, go here.


The Redwood City Fire Department protects the communities of Redwood City, San Carlos and some unincorporated areas of the County of San Mateo.

Recently, the Redwood City Fire Department achieved a Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) of “Class 1”. Nationwide, only 306 fire departments out of 46,000 have received a Class 1 rating — which is fewer than 1% of all fire departments. This rating applies to the communities of Redwood City and San Carlos. This rating takes effect on November 1, 2018 and property owners are encouraged to call their insurance companies as they may see improvements to their insurance rates as a result.

For more about the Redwood City Fire Department, go here.



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