Monday, October 7, 2013

It is National Fire Prevention Week - Info, Fun & a Contest for an Apple IPad Mini!

2013 FPW bannerMy husband was a firefighter when we lived in California and years ago when we lived in Michigan, so, fire safety and prevention has been something we have always been mindful of. Since this week is National Fire Prevention Week, I thought it would be interesting to look at the history of this important week. You will find the entire history of National Fire Prevention Week at this link, but I thought I'd share a few highlights with you . . . did you know . . . 
  • Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 fire which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres
  • According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow - belonging to Mrs. Catherine O'Leary - kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire
  • Over the years, journalists and historians have offered plenty of theories for the start of this fire. Some blamed the blaze on a couple of neighborhood boys who were near the barn sneaking cigarettes. Others believed a neighbor of the O'Leary's may have started the fire. Some people have speculated a fiery meteorite may have fallen to earth on October 8, starting several fires that day - in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as in Chicago
  • The Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin, was the most devastating forest fire in American history. The fire, which also occurred on October 8th, 1871, roared through Northeast Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people, and scorching 1.2 million acres before it ended.
  • On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (today known as the International Fire Marshals Association), decided the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should henceforth be observed not with festivities, but in a way which would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention
  • According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925
I also thought it would be interesting to share a few fire facts with you  . . . did you know . . .
  • In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage
  • Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths
  • Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen
  • Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding
  • During 2007-2011 smoking materials caused an estimated 17,900 home structure fires, resulting in 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries and $509 million in direct property damage, per year
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle
  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms
As I worked on this post, I learned there is a Fire Prevention Contest where they are giving away one Apple in October, another in November and one final one in December! Check the info out here - In honor or Fire Prevention Week, we will host a series of four contests on this page, once per month through December. For your chance to win an Apple® Ipad Mini®, view the video below and accompanying activity sheet. Then answer the short quiz underscoring the key takeaways. One lucky winner will be randomly selected. Good luck! See the complete rules.

There are many more excellent, free resources available for you to use with your family to help them learn how to prevent fire and what to do in the case of a fire - check these out . . . 
Reproduced from NFPA's Fire Prevention Week website, ©2013 NFPA.

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