This blog post is about the history of Fire Prevention Week and what you can do to increase fire safety and awareness.
National Fire Prevention Week kicked off on the 9th of October. This week was selected because it’s the closest to the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which took place October 8, 1871. The fire lasted two days and consumed 2.2 square miles of Chicago, Illinois, killing 300 people and leaving over 100,000 homeless. The first presidential proclamation of Fire Prevention Week was made in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge. The Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA), the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day to observe the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire and to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. The National Fire Protection Association continues to be the international sponsor of this week.
As a former firefighter, there are several important things to consider when discussing fire prevention. Two of the primary elements are control and reporting hazards. These work together to make workplaces and homes safer.
Several principles are applied within fire prevention and control: awareness of the quantity of flammable materials to be kept to minimum, fire resistant and fire retardant materials are used instead of combustibles, good housekeeping is consistently sustained, and adequate fire suppression equipment is easily accessible and maintained for proper use and performance. Identifying and understanding ignition sources within your place of work and home are crucial components of fire prevention.
One-third of all fires are caused by electrical sources. Electrical ignition sources can be decreased by proper maintenance, appropriate use of electrical sourced equipment, and reporting electrical defects immediately.
One of the most important factors in fire prevention is to report fire hazards and all unsafe conditions immediately: blocked aisles, locked fire doors, inoperable or missing fire protection equipment, etc. Reporting potential hazards is the simplest way to protect yourself as well as the people around you.
Top Tips for Fire Safety
According to the National Fire Protection Association, here are the top tips for Fire Safety:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas
- Test smoke alarms every month
- Talk with family members/roommates in your home and co-workers within your workplace about a fire escape plan and practice it twice a year
- IF a fire does occur, follow these designated protocols: “Get out, stay out, and call for help.”
It is important to not only pay attention to fire safety guidelines during Fire Prevention Week, but throughout the year. Adhering to these guidelines helps prevent fires and saves lives. As a leader in integration and innovation in fire and life safety alerting, Status Solutions utilizes the teachings of the past to help enhance the future.