The first week of October is Fire Prevention Week in the United States, a national informational event established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The conflagration blazed on October 8th and 9th, and killed more than 250 people. Today, Fire Prevention Week helps educate the public on fire safety and prevention.
90 Years of Fire Prevention
On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should be used to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1920. 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.
Here the Beep Where You Sleep
Every year, Fire Prevention Week has focused on a specific message about fire safety. This year’s message is “Here the Beep Where Your Sleep” – meaning that every bedroom in your home should have a working smoke alarm, and that you should test them regularly.
Smoke alarms are an important part of your home security. Whether they are integrated with your overall home security system or individual battery-powered alarms, smoke alarms can save lives. Most homes have battery-powered alarms in most rooms. The advantage of an integrated system is that they communicate with each other -if one smoke alarm detects smoke, all of your alarms will sound. Some smoke alarm systems can even be combined with your overall security system for centralized control.
Some facts about smoke alarms:
- In 2007-2011, smoke alarms sounded in half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (37%) of the home fire deaths.
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