Fire Prevention Week is October 6th through October 12th!

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Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The fire took place over a span of two days, starting on October 8th and continuing into October 9th, when the majority of the damage took place.  The fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.  While the Great Chicago Fire is considered the most well-known blaze to start on October 8, 1871, it was far from the largest.  There was another fire that started on October 8th, 1871, the Peshtigo Fire in Northeast Wisconsin.  This fire is considered the most devastating forest fire in American History.  The Peshtigo Fire burned down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people and scorched 1.2 million acres before it was put out.

On the 40th Anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the International Fire Marshals Association decided that the anniversary of these horrific fires should be observed with a way to keep people informed about the importance of fire prevention.  This led to President Woodrow Wilson issuing the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1920.  Fire Prevention week is observed on the Sunday through Saturday that October 9th falls. 

Each year since 1927, Fire Prevention Week has focused on a different ‘Theme’.  This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is: “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!” which works to educate people about the important actions they can take to keep themselves and their families safe, regardless of how small the action may seem! Do you have an emergency evacuation plan in place in case of a fire? If not, now is the time to implement one!

Source: Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2019 NFPA.

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