Fire Prevention Day
Every October, Fire Prevention Day is celebrated to bring awareness to fire prevention practices and to honor the efforts of firefighters who rescue them.
The United States has one the highest fire deaths rates in the world. This results in around 5000 deaths each year and another 25,000 injuries. It is a stark reminder of how crucial fire safety education and education are.
Fire Prevention Day is a great opportunity to talk fire safety with your children, friends, or family members. There are lots of activities and resources available.
A resolution was passed in May 1919 to urge the governments of Canada and the United States to support the annual Fire Prevention Day campaign.
Woodrow Wilson announced the first Fire Prevention Day in 1920. This was later extended into a National Fire Prevention Week and was declared a national holiday by Calvin Coolidge, in 1925. Coolidge considered the day very important, noting that 15,000 Americans had died in fire-related deaths in the year before.
Fire prevention day is used to remember famous and destructive fires within communities such as the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. Legend has it that this fire was started when a cow kicked over a lantern stored in a shed.
The fire raged for over 27 hours, resulting in more than 300 deaths and 17,000 building destructions. More than 100,000 people were left homeless.
International sponsor of the day has been the non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As a way of keeping the public informed about fire safety and prevention, they observe the anniversary of The Great Chicago Fire. Each year, the NFPA chooses a theme to celebrate Fire Prevention Week. The 2019 theme is ‘Plan and Practice Your Escape.
2020’s theme is “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” which emphasizes safety in the kitchen. This program aims to inform families and individuals about simple steps they can take to ensure their safety while cooking, preparing meals, and using the oven, stove, and other kitchen equipment.
Fire Prevention Week is not only celebrated in the United States. Other countries also celebrate it annually. To show gratitude and appreciation to Canada’s fire service and other public services, the last Saturday in the week is declared Fire Service Recognition Day in Canada. Fire Prevention Week in Australia is held every year, but it’s at the end of April.
Education and awareness are the best ways to stop fires. Children and teens need to be educated about fire safety and hazards.
Fire Prevention Day is a day where children and adults learn about fire safety, how to avoid them, what to do in the event of a fire and how to stop them from happening.
Past Fire Prevention Days started with slogans like ‘Fire Feeds on Careless deeds’ or ‘Don‚Äôt Give Fire a Start’.
To encourage families to prepare an escape plan in the event of a fire, acronyms like EDITH (Exit Drills in The Home) are taught. This promotes smoke alarm installation and checks, and highlights the dangers of everyday household items like candles.
People congratulate firefighters during the celebration. They recognize how they risk their lives every day to keep them safe, and show their gratitude. They also offer education and life-saving information for their communities.
Sparky, the Fire Dog mascot is also available at the NFPA. This mascot was created for children and aims to get them interested in fire prevention and to sell products that Sparky endorses. This helps children learn about topics like cooking safely and practicing escape plans.