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Community: Fire Prevention Week
Services | Risk Watch | Burning Info | After The Fire | CPR | Prevention | Fire Prevention Week

When is Fire Prevention Week?

Fire Prevention Week is the week in which October 9th falls, from Sunday to Saturday. Fire Prevention Week for 2016 is Sunday, October 9th through Saturday, October 15th. However, Lake Stevens Fire observes October as Fire Prevention Month.

What is Fire Prevention Week?

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

The fire changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety. On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire the International Fire Marshals Association decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. The commemoration grew incrementally official over the years.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.


Each year there is a different theme for Fire Prevention Week that highlights a particular topic related to fire safety to help protect and bring awareness to the public about the dangers of fire.

Theme for 2016: Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.

Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11pm and 7am, when most people are asleep? Working smoke alarms save lives. Smoke spreads very quickly in a fire and smoke alarms are necessary to give you time to get out. Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted in homes where there were no smoke alarms or no functioning smoke alarms.

Did you know that your smoke alarm has an expiration date? Age matters when it comes to your smoke alarms, and checking the manufacture date can give you an idea of when to change it out. Below is a 4 step process to check the date of your smoke alarms:

  1. Remove the smoke alarm from the wall or ceiling.

  2. Look at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.

  3. Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.

  4. Put the alarm back on the ceiling or wall if it is less than 10 years old.

Smoke Alarm Safety Tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the vicinity of the bedrooms, and on every floor of your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test your smoke alarms once a month.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Teach your children this too!
  • The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced after 10 years.
  • If possible, install alarms that are interconnected, so if one goes off they all go off.
  • Since you cannot (and should not) replace 10 year lithium batteries designed to last 10 years, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Smoke alarms that are hardwired into your home’s electrical system should still be tested once a month and the backup battery should be changed once every year.
  • Never disable or remove the battery from a smoke alarm sounding. Disabling the alarm can put your family at risk.
  • If the alarm is set off several times from cooking or taking a shower that causes a lot of steam, consider moving the alarm further away from the kitchen or bathroom.

Plan Your Escape!

Practice your escape plan in correlation with Fire Prevention Week. Make sure that you plan and practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Make sure that everyone in your family is aware of all the ways out of your home and knows where to meet outside in case of an emergency. It takes less than five minutes to identify a family meeting place outside, where in case of an emergency your family can meet and know that everyone is safe. Here are some tips on planning and practicing your escape plan:

Escape Plan:
Draw a floor plan of your home and mark the two best ways out of each room. Always check the door first, and if it’s hot, try the window.

Meeting Place:
Mark a place outside your home where everyone can meet once you’ve escaped. That way you know when everyone’s out safely.

Practice Plan:
Practice your plan at least twice a year and check your smoke alarms every month. Be sure to move fast, stay low below the smoke, and follow your escape plan!

Call 911 after you leave the house and never go back inside a burning building!

If there is no safe way out of your home, wait by a window for firefighters. Wave a white cloth or flashlight so they’ll see you!

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