While October 4 – 10 is national Fire Prevention Week, Tamarac Fire Rescue has taken it a step further and expanded this to the entire month, in order to educate and share safety measures with residents and businesses alike.
Each Monday in October, the City will post tips on its Facebook page to help everyone stay safe.
Here’s Tip #1: “Have a family meeting and make a fire escape plan. Draw a floor plan of your home, identify all exit and escape points and mark two ways out of each room, which may include using both windows and doors.”
The theme of this year’s national Fire Prevention Week is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!TM” The goal of the campaign is “to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.”
Kitchen Fires: A Leading Culprit
Kitchen fire safety is especially important, particularly since unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. Kitchen fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
The National Fire Protection Association website has a great set of tools to educate yourself and your family about fire safety. It includes safety tips sheets, printable activities, and much more.
The Great Chicago Fire
Fire Prevention Week became a national observance back in 1925, by a Presidential proclamation by President Calvin Coolidge. It is “the longest-running public health observance in the United States,” and is always observed during the week of October 9, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire. The Great Chicago Fire burned for three days in 1871, killing an estimated 300 people, causing approximately $200 million in damages (which is slightly over $4 billion in 2020 dollars), and destroying thousands of buildings.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, we’ve come a long way since the Great Chicago Fire, especially in our ability to construct fire-resistant buildings and improve fire-suppression techniques. Even so, “On average in 2018, a fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association. A structure fire occurred every 63 seconds, a home fire occurred every 87 seconds, and an outside property fire occurred every 52 seconds. Fires occurred in highway-type vehicles every 2 minutes and 54 seconds.” And the San Francisco Fire Department notes that “nearly 4000 Americans die each year in house fires, and over 2000 are severely injured.”
So this year, let’s thank our City for making “Fire Prevention Week” into “Fire Prevention Month”; be sure to look for all of October’s fire prevention tips on the City’s Facebook page.