Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
It is important for everyone to plan and practice a fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the fire alarm sounds. Given that every building is different, every building fire escape plan will also be different.
Have a plan for everyone in the building. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to get out.
In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education is for everyone, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.