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Fire Stop Tour 2024 Urged Communities to be Fire Safe and #WinterReady

During winter months, fire dangers increase and claim more lives than any other time of year. In 2024 alone, 247 people have lost their lives. Additionally, thousands of people are displaced when homes are destroyed by fires, increasing homelessness numbers. 

These statistics urged fire service leaders across the nation to unite with the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA for the Fire Stop Tour 2024. This tour gave these leaders the opportunity to speak with one voice about the risks of fire and how the public can be fire-safe and #WinterReady

The tour was led by U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, FEMA Region 5 Regional Administrator Tom Sivak and fire service leaders. 

“Fire is everyone’s fight,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell. “We cannot do it alone. We need every individual to act to make themselves savable, whether it is a smoke alarm, or a sprinkler, or closing the doors – help us, help you. Together, we can save lives.”

The tour began on Jan. 22 in Michigan at the Detroit Fire Department, Engine 30. The speakers were joined by Detroit’s Deputy Mayor Tod Bettison, Fire Commissioner Chuck Simms, Michigan State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 67. 

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Meeting on Jan. 22 with the Detroit Fire Department. 

On Jan. 23, the tour stopped at the Region 5 office in Chicago where they were joined by Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt. After the press event at Chicago Fire Department Engine 38, the speakers sat with local community members to discuss their neighborhood, the risks and how the fire department and community could work together to meet their needs. 

Caption: Press event with the Chicago Fire Department.
Press event with the Chicago Fire Department.
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Meeting with local community members in Chicago. 

The tour wrapped up on Jan. 24 in Columbus, Ohio, at Columbus Division of Fire Station 16, where the speakers were joined by Ohio State Fire Marshal, City of Columbus leaders and the IAFF Local 67 to urge communities to take precautions to prevent fires, fire-related injuries and be prepared for cold temperatures. 

Caption: The tour ends in Columbus, Ohio Fire Station 16. 
The tour ends in Columbus, Ohio Fire Station 16.  

At each stop of the tour, the speakers reminded the public of five things they could do to make themselves safer and savable. You can do them, too:

Call 911 - Fire is Fast

The sooner firefighters are notified the sooner they can respond and help you in an emergency.

Have a home fire escape plan

Know two ways out of every room, choose a meeting place outside and practice this with a home fire drill.

Have working/ tamper-resistant smoke alarms

Located in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement. Test them monthly and replace them if they don’t work! If you need smoke alarms, contact the fire department to help

Install carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can occur when fuel-burning appliances or machines, like a furnace, heater or generator is not working or venting properly. CO alarms are needed outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home.

Heat safely 

Heating systems and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional. Anything that can burn must be at least 3-feet away from furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on space heaters and turn portable heaters off when sleeping or leaving the room.

Fire is everyone’s fight! You can make a difference in your home and in your community. Visit #WinterReady | Ready.gov for more information on how to stay fire-safe during winter months.