Fire Prevention Week Oct. 9-15

Fire prevention is a responsibility shared by everyone; not only in protecting ourselves, families, and our property, but also, the people throughout Luke Air Force Base.

Each year, fires kill or injure thousands of Americans and destroy or damage billions of dollars worth of property. Many of these fires might have been prevented by taking appropriate precautions and following safety guidelines. During Fire Prevention Week, our firefighters will highlight the need to prevent fires, and raise fire safety awareness.

Luke Fire Emergency Services is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association and United States Fire Administration to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme, “ Don’t Wait CHECK the date!” focuses on the importance of awareness, testing and maintenance of smoke detectors; and also, good working appliances and safe cooking habits.

The smell of smoke may not wake someone sleeping, even though most people think it will.  The smoke and toxic gasses is what kills most people, not the fire.

Smoke detectors should be installed in all sleeping areas, hallways and living areas on every floor of the house, including the basement.

A faulty detector cannot protect a home. Detectors need to be tested monthly and batteries replaced every year. Clean detectors without removing the cover by using a vacuum cleaner.  Never paint any part of the detector.

Each year roughly 3,000 people die because of home fires. This year’s FPW campaign will provide an ideal opportunity for Luke firefighters to educate and motivate Luke members about the importance of having good working smoke detectors, preventing kitchen fires and encourage you to have a home escape plan.

Fire Prevention Week dates back to ‘20s

National Fire Prevention Week originated from the Great Chicago Fire, which took place on Oct. 9, 1871. The fire took 300 lives, left 300,000 people homeless, destroyed more than 17,500 buildings and over 2,000 acres in little more than 24 hours. The town was soon rebuilt, and the people began holding a celebration of their restoration on the anniversary of the fire.

The Fire Marshals Association of North America decided the anniversary of the fire should be observed in a manner that would help people understand the importance of fire prevention. The first National Fire Prevention Day was held on Oct. 9, 1911.

President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1920. Since 1925, every president has signed the proclamation making the week in which Oct. 9 falls National Fire Prevention Week.

Know how to protect family in case of fire

It takes only minutes for smoke and flames to engulf a home when fire strikes. Every second counts. Preparing in advance before calamity strikes will help save lives. Family members are prepared to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds.

In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.

The importance of a home fire escape plan cannot be overstated. Prepare and practice a fire escape plan twice a year with everyone in the household, including children, people with disabilities and overnight guests.

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