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
Theme for 2016:
Don't Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every
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.
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:
Remove the smoke alarm from the wall or ceiling.
Look at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.
Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.
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
- 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.
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
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.
Mark a place outside your home where everyone can meet once you’ve escaped.
That way you know when everyone’s out safely.
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
Call 911 after you leave the house and never go back inside a burning
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!