Fire prevention week (FPW) has been around since 1925 when President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first Fire Prevention Week in the USA. Some history on FPW is…
The Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire. On the 40th anniversary (1911) of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America (FMANA); the oldest membership section of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sponsored the first National Fire Prevention Day, deciding to observe the anniversary as a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention. In May 1919, when the NFPA held its 23rd annual meeting in Ottawa at the invitation of the Dominion Fire Prevention Association (DFPA), the NFPA and DFPA both passed resolutions urging governments in the United States and Canada to support the campaign for a common Fire Prevention Day. This was expanded to Fire Prevention Week in 1922. The non-profit NFPA, which has officially sponsored Fire Prevention Week since its inception, selects the annual theme for Fire Prevention Week.
When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on October 4–10, 1925, he noted that in the previous year some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the United States. Calling the loss “startling”, Coolidge’s proclamation stated: “This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented… It is highly desirable that every effort be made to reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction of the national wealth”.
Fire Prevention Week (fron NFPA)
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” represents the final year of our three-year effort to educate the public about basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety.
Why focus on smoke alarms three years in a row? Because NFPA’s survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. Read more from NFPA Journal.
As a result of those and related findings, we’re addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages:
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
- Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
- To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
The State of Iowa Fire Marshal’s office released the following info about Fire Prevention Week…
A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for the State Fire Marshal and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
“We’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but also the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” says Special Agent in Charge Kyle Gorsh of the State Fire Marshal Division. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Iowa’s residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.
Last thoughts on fire safety week…don’t let just this day or this week be the only time you think about or look at your fire safety equipment. Looking at extinguishers and pressing your test button on a smoke detector takes just a moment and can be done as often as you desire. Let us here at General Fire & Safety help in any way we can, call us for questions or come on in and see us. We have a great selection of products for your home and family and would be happy to help you with the right selection.