Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week

With the arrival of fall and cooler weather, it’s time to get serious about keeping your home, your workplace, and the environment safe from dangerous and potentially destructive fires. Luckily enough, October brings along with it Fire Prevention Week. This important commemorative week aims to start the discussion of fire prevention within schools, places of work, and the home, hoping to inspire North American citizens to create healthy habits that can keep themselves, and their loved ones, as safe from a fire-related emergency as possible.

When Did Fire Prevention Week Begin?

As the longest running public health observance event on record according to the National Archives and Records Administration’s LIbrary Information Center, Fire Prevention Week was first established in 1992. This annual week serves to commemorate the victims of The Great Chicago Fire, which killed over 250 people in 1871. On top of the horrific loss of life, 10,000 residents were left homeless, 2000 acres of area were burned, and over 17,400 structures and buildings were completely destroyed.

There is a popular legend surrounding how exactly the Great Chicago Fire began, involving a cow, a barn, and a lamp. According to the legend, a cow belonging to Catherine O’Leary, kicked over a lamp which set the barn on fire. This barn was set on the southwest side of Chicago, and once this fire spread, the whole town was eventually set ablaze. However, recent research has basically debunked this legend.

Interestingly enough, the Great Chicago Fire cow theory does have an ounce of truth, as the fire has been proven to almost certainly have started near Catherine O’Leary’s farm. There have been multiple theories behind what actually caused the fire to start. Multiple historians and investigative journalists have tried to come to a conclusion, including that it was a neighbour of Catherine O’Leary who started the fire, that the fire was started by a couple of  nearby boys were sneaking a cigarette behind the barn, or that the fire started when a firey meteorite hit.

Fire Prevention Week 2017

No matter how the Great Chicago Fire started in 1871, there is now more open access to fire prevention information and tips than ever before in history. This year, Fire Prevention Week falls on the week of October 8th to 14th, 2017. Each year, a new theme is chosen as the centre of discussion and a focal point of fire safety inspiration. “Every Second Counts - Plan 2 Ways Out!” is the chosen theme for 2017, attempting to highlight the importance of having multiple evacuation plans and paths for your home or place of work. Here are some important tips for creating multiple evacuation plans to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Plan out the escape routes with your family or work team to ensure everyone knows the safest ways out of the building.
  • Make sure that your exits are accessible for everyone. Ideally, there won’t be too many stairs or obstacles in the pathway.
  • Test your smoke alarms, or install smoke alarms in rooms where there are none.
  • Put furniture underneath the windows in basements to create an easier escape route.
  • If your home has multiple stories, a rescue ladder is helpful for higher levels.
  • Teach your children how to safely feel doors for fire, and ensure that they know that they need to get out and stay out of the home in case of a fire-related emergency.

For Fire Protection Week 2017, take the time to discuss fire prevention and safe evacuation with your family and community. Are you looking for more information on fire prevention and fire safety equipment? Contact the experts at Bison Fire Protection in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon. Find us online, or by calling 866-441-3473 to schedule an appointment today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:30 AM

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