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Col. Adam Butler, garrison commander, signs the 2017 Fire Prevention Week proclamation Tuesday alongside members of Fort Lee’s Fire and Emergency Service and children and students from the Child Development Center Multi-purpose Center. Each year, FE&S hosts a variety of activities to draw attention to fire prevention. (Contributed Photo)

FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 28, 2017) -- Whereas, Fort Lee is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living, working and visiting Fort Lee; and

Whereas, U.S. fire departments responded to 365,500 home fires in 2015, according to the National Fire Protection Association; and

Whereas, U.S. home fires resulted in 2,560 civilian deaths in 2015, representing the majority (78 percent) of all U.S. fire deaths; and

Whereas, newer homes are built with lightweight materials that burn faster than older home constructions; and

Whereas, many of today’s products and furnishings produce toxic gases and smoke when burned, making it impossible to see and breathe within moments; and

Whereas, these conditions contribute to a much smaller window of time for people to escape a home fire safely, with people having as little as one to two minutes to escape from the time the smoke alarm sounds; and

Whereas, a home fire escape plan provides the skill set and know-how to quickly and safely escape a home fire situation; and

Whereas, a home fire escape plan includes two exits from every room in the home; a path to the outside from each exit; smoke alarms in all required locations; and a meeting place outside where everyone in the home will meet upon exiting; and

Whereas, home fire escape plans should be developed by all members of the household; and

Whereas, practicing a home fire escape plan twice a year ensures that everyone in the household knows what to do in a real fire situation; and

Whereas, Fort Lee’s first responders are dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire injuries through prevention and protection education; and

Whereas, Fort Lee’s residents are responsive to public education measures and are able to take personal steps to increase their safety from fire, especially in their homes; and

Whereas, the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” effectively serves to educate the public about the vital importance of developing a home fire escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it twice a year;

Therefore, I, Adam W. Butler, garrison commander, do hereby proclaim October 8-14, 2017, as Fire Prevention Week throughout this community. I urge all the people of Fort Lee to find and develop a home fire escape plan with all members of the household and practice it twice a year, and to participate in the many public safety activities and efforts of Fort Lee‘s Fire and Emergency services during Fire Prevention Week 2017.