Events

October 5, 2012

The history of Fire Prevention Week

Thomas Woods
Edwards Fire Prevention Office

The history of National Fire Prevention Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred Oct. 8, 1871.

This tragic conflagration killed some 300 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. The origin of the fire has generated speculation since its occurrence, with fact and fiction becoming blurred over the years. One popular legend has it that Mrs. O’Leary was milking her cow when the animal kicked over a lamp, setting the O’Leary barn on fire and starting the spectacular blaze. However the massive fire began, it swiftly took its toll, burning more than 2000 acres in 27 hours. The city of Chicago quickly rebuilt, however, and within a couple of years residents began celebrating their successful restoration to memorialize the anniversary of the fire with festivities.

Intending to observe the fire’s anniversary with a more serious commemoration, the Fire Marshals Association of North America, the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association, decided that the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week, October 4 – 10 1925, he noted that in the previous year some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States.

NFPA continues today to make National Fire Prevention Week a priority and counts on the participation and efforts of tens of thousands of fire and safety professionals, emergency volunteers, and other individuals working to reduce the risk of fire and the toll it takes on our society.

This year’s theme, “Have 2 Ways Out!” is aimed at keeping you, your family, and your community safer from fire. During Fire Prevention Week the Edwards Air Force Base Fire Department will be providing educational material and information on the leading causes of home fires, information about protecting your home and families with life-saving technologies, and the importance of home escape planning.

This year there is a full week of activities planned for Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 7 to 13. We encourage everyone to participate in this important awareness campaign.

Fire Prevention Week 2012, Schedule of Events:

Oct. 5
Meet Smokey and Sparky at Edwards Community Park during
Child Fine Expo from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 8
Holiday

Oct. 9
Elementary School Visit
Fire Safety Trailer, Sparky the Fire Dog, Lots of goodies
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Oct. 10
Elementary School Visit
Fire Safety Trailer, Sparky the Fire Dog, Lot’s of goodies
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Oct. 11
Child Daycare Center Visit, Smokey and Sparky
9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

FCC Home Day Care/Home Schools at the Big Park
Fire Safety Trailer, Sparky the Fire Dog, lots of goodies
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Oct. 12
Poster Contest Awards Presentation at Schools
8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Commissary
Fire Extinguisher Training/Stove Top Fire Demo
General Fire Safety Information
10:30 a.m. to Noon

BX
Fire Extinguisher Training/Stove Top Fire Demo
General Fire Safety Information
10:30 a.m. to Noon

For more information or to get answers to any questions, contact the Fire Prevention Office at (661) 277-3643/0480/3124.




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