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15 minutes can save your life

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, 2022

Like State Farm, National Fire Prevention Week is celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2022. In fact, it’s the longest-running public health observance in our country. 

This year’s campaign, “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape,” works to educate families on the simple actions they can take to keep their property, themselves, and their families safe from common home fires. Additionally, State Farm wants to stress the importance of smoke alarm safety – properly installing and checking batteries to help ensure you’re alerted quickly giving you and your family members enough time to escape. Taking 15 minutes twice a year to do both these things can save your life.

Home Fire Escape Plan

Did you know you have as little as two minutes to safely escape a home fire from the time your smoke alarm sounds? According to the National Library of Medicine, only 23% of families in the United States have a fire escape plan and have practiced it.

It is important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. This includes adults, children, and people with disabilities that may need assistance to escape a burning home quickly. Other things to consider:

  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you can fit through the doorways.
  • Keep your walker, scooter, cane, or wheelchair by your bed/where you sleep to make sure you can reach it quickly
  • Keep your eyeglasses, mobile phone, and a flashlight by your bed/where you sleep to be able to reach them quickly in an emergency.
  • For people who are visually impaired or blind, the sound of the smoke alarm can become disorienting in an emergency. Practice the escape plan with the sound of the alarm to become familiar with, and practice with the extra noise.
  • If you have a service animal, agree on a plan to keep the animal with you during an emergency.
  • When looking for an apartment or high-rise home, look for one with an automatic sprinkler system.
  • For people with cognitive disabilities, work with their healthcare providers and local fire department to make a plan that works for their needs.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has created a printable Home Safety Action Plan – use this to plan your escape and learn tips for property installing and operating smoke alarms in various rooms throughout your home. 

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, visit

Installing/Testing Smoke Alarms


  • To install a battery-powered alarm, all you need is a drill and screwdriver. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • Hard-wired alarms should be installed by a qualified electrician. All hard-wired smoke alarms should be interconnected: If one alarm is activated, all alarms will sound.
  • Install a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
  • Never install a smoke alarm too close to windows, doors, vents or ceiling fans where drafts could blow smoke away from an alarm.
  • If you have questions about where to install your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department. Many departments will conduct home smoke alarm inspections for free or a minimal fee.


  • If you have standalone battery-powered alarms, test them once a month and replace the batteries once a year.
  • Make sure that everyone in your household knows the sound of the alarms.
  • Never paint any part of a smoke alarm.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions when cleaning your alarms. Dust and debris can usually be removed by using a vacuum cleaner attachment.
About State Farm®:

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, lifehealth, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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