Fire Prevention Week is October 5-11

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fire departments responded to nearly 400,000 home fires in 2006. In light of this alarming statistic, the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, observed October 5-11, is “It’s Fire Prevention Week: Prevent Home Fires!” Fire Corps will be releasing fire safety tips each day during Fire Prevention Week to help keep your families, friends, and communities safer. Please share these tips and continue to pass on the message of fire safety every day. You can also view the tips in advance at www.firecorps.org/firepreventionweek to help you prepare in your outreach efforts.

To further raise awareness in your community during Fire Prevention Week, consider submitting Fire Corps' Fire Prevention Week Letter to the Editor to local newspapers. This letter informs the public about the Week and encourages community members to help by volunteering with their local Fire Corps program.

According to the NFPA, Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres. This tragic disaster changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety. On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (now known as the International Fire Marshals Association) decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation. Starting in 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. This commemorates the date the Great Chicago fire did most of its damage. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925.

Learn more about Fire Prevention Week from the NFPA. Visit the Fire Corps Fire Prevention Week Resource Center.

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