Fire Prevention Week

By: Stephanie Stang
By: Stephanie Stang

Firefighters across the nation are hoping to motivate families to practice fire safety.

That's because it's National Fire Prevention Week, with the theme focusing on families and their need to work together when it comes to preventing fires.

Firefighters said they are reminding residents to replace the batteries in their smoke detectors every six months. Besides that, they said to plan a fire escape with everyone in your household and to practice it.

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National Fire Prevention Week

  • The history of National Fire Prevention Week has it roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on Oct. 9, 1871.

  • This tragic conflagration killed some 300 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.

  • The city of Chicago quickly rebuilt, however, and within a couple of years residents began celebrating their successful restoration to memorialize the anniversary of the fire with festivities.

  • Intending to observe the fire's anniversary with a more serious commemoration, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA), the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decided that the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

  • When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4 - 10 1925, he noted that in the previous year some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States.

  • Calling the loss "startling", President Coolidge's proclamation stated, "This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented... It is highly desirable that every effort be made to reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction of the national wealth.”

    Source: (Fire Prevention Week Web site) contributed to this report.

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