Association Marks More Than 90 Years of Fire Prevention Awareness
Next week begins National Fire Prevention Week, which got its start as a way to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Roughly nine decades after it began, the public health and safety observance is the longest running in the country, according to its sponsor, the National Fire Protection Association.
Did you know that the leading source of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States is in your kitchen?
Cooking equipment accounted for 40 percent of home fires and about 30 percent of fire-related injuries in the home between 2008 and 2010, according to data released last year by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration.
To help raise public awareness about the risk of cooking-related fires, the National Fire Protection Association is providing resources and safety tips to help prevent kitchen fires as part of its National Fire Prevention Week, beginning October 6.
The week-long campaign is the longest-running public health and safety observance, according to NFPA, and its creation was sparked by one of the most destructive fires of the 19th century.
In 1911, the Fire Marshals Association of North America wanted to use the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871—which lasted two days and burned more than 200 acres, leaving 100,000 people homeless and killing more than 250—as an opportunity to inform the public on the importance of fire prevention. Nine years later, according to NFPA, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation on October 9, 1920.
In 1922, when NFPA became the official sponsor, the campaign evolved into a week-long event, always around October 9. The event has focused on a variety of themes throughout the years, including “Use Candles with Care,” “Fire Drills: The Great Escape,” and “Fire Feeds on Careless Deeds.”
“National Fire Prevention Week is a time when we put the dangers of fire and the importance of prevention at the forefront of our minds with the hopes that through education and awareness we can potentially save lives from the ravages of fire,” Russell Fleming, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, which is also raising awareness about the fire safety campaign, said in a statement.