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Fire departments across the Central Coast prepare for Fire Prevention Week

Posted at 10:39 PM, Oct 07, 2019

Fire departments across the Central Coast are stressing the importance of people not only having a fire escape plan for their home but practicing it as well.

It's all a part of National Fire Prevention week.

House fires are something some San Luis Obispo residents say they've thought about but haven't planned for.

"Actually yeah I fear that a lot and double check things a lot. (My roommates and I) haven't talked about it as a group but I'm thinking we've thought about it individually," said Hailey Wesling.

"I think after talking about this we would," said Stacey Ballard.

All this week fire departments across the U.S. are reminding people the importance of having a fire escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week.

San Luis Obispo City Fire says they get about one to two fatal house fires every year.

"Common mistakes are unattended heat sources such as you left cooking on a stove unattended, candles unattended are major causes of fires, smoking in the homes - although it's been reduced because of improvements in home furnishings, cigarette caused fires are one of the leading causes of death in the home," explained San Luis Obispo City Fire Marshal Rodger Maggio.

Maggio says fires can also often start in places that are overlooked like dryer vents.

"What we don't realize is that vent also has to be cleaned because that becomes clogged and that can become a fire hazard as lint builds up in the heating unit of your dryer," Maggio said.

Unlike wildfires where you often have time to grab belongings before evacuating, Maggio says house fires have significantly less reaction time.

"Say your smoke alarm goes off in the middle of the night - you may have 30 seconds to 2 minutes to get out of your home. So the important thing there is everyone in your family gets out, everything else can be replaced," Maggio said.

At the Farmers Market in Downtown San Luis Obispo this Thursday, SLO City Fire says all of the fire departments in the county will be there to reinforce the messaging of Fire Prevention Week.

This year's fire prevention theme is: "Not every hero wears a cape.. Plan your escape," to educate the public on the steps they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.