Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm
Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2015
One-hundred and forty-four years ago America experienced two terrible fire events, both taking place on the same day. On October 8, 1871 what is now known as the Great Chicago Fire, a blaze that erupted in a barn or shed (origin unconfirmed) led to the deaths of more than 250 people, left more than 100,000 homeless, and burned more than three square miles over a two-day period. Also on October 8th, but in Northeast Wisconsin, the Peshtigo Fire became what would become the most devastating forest fire in all of American history. It burned through numerous towns, reportedly killed 1,500 people, but possibly as many as 2,500, and scorched over one-million acres before it ended.
The survivors of these incidents retained the terrible memories, and the blazes changed the way public officials thought about fire safety. Forty years following the fires, the (now) International Fire Marshals Association led the charge to commemorate the events not with festivities but with learning opportunities to better ensure these events never repeat. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Nation Fire Prevention Day and since 1922 a full week has been recognized.
This year’s Fire Prevention Week Slogan is “Hear the BEEP, Where You SLEEP; Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”. The importance of this year’s message is due to half of all home fire deaths occurring between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am; a quarter of all home fires beginning in the bedroom; and three of five home fire deaths occurring in a home without a working smoke/fire detector. A best practice for safe sleeping is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every level of your home. It’s all about the location when it comes to smoke alarms, and the more the better.
Additional information on National Fire Prevention Week can be found by visiting firepreventionweek.org.