According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health observance on record.
First established in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge, it was formed in order to commemorate the “Great Chicago Fire” of October of 1871 when more than 250 people died and another 100,000 were left homeless. This year, Fire Prevention Week started on the 8th and runs through the 14th. It serves as a reminder to individuals of all ages to be prepared for when the unexpected may strike.
During this week, parents and teachers are encouraged to go over basic fire prevention and safety tips with students at all levels. The NFPA has a few helpful resources that can help families be prepared in case of a fire.
Have up-to-date smoke detectors with working batteries in each and every room and be sure fire sprinklers are in working condition. Invest in specific stickers that can be placed on the windows of younger children, the disabled or the elderly to assist the fire department in finding rooms that may contain individuals who are unable to escape. Once outside, never return into the burning structure for any reason.
The NFPA advises parents to go over escape plans with children on a semi-regular basis and always include more than one exit strategy. Teach kids to assist themselves in case you’re unable to get to them. Practice during the day and during the night. Be sure your address number is visible and easy for the fire department to find.
To take a quiz to test your preparedness or to find helpful maps and print-outs visit firepreventionweek.org.