October is National Fire Awareness Month
October is officially recognized as National Fire Awareness Month. In dedication to fire safety, nationwide public service officials come together in order to improve the awareness of fire prevention to the public.
Honoring Fire Awareness Month
Every year, the campaign focuses on a specific safety aspect, such as escape route planning or preventing forest fires. The campaign goes throughout the entire month, however, the majority of public service departments recognize the 2nd week of the month as Fire Prevention Week. During this time, demonstrations and expos are hosted throughout various cities to increase the awareness of fire safety.
National Fire Awareness Month is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and has ties to The Great Chicago Fire, the famous disaster in 1871 that killed over 250 people and destroyed over 100,000 homes.
The Great Chicago Fire was reported to have started in a barn, burning over 2,000 acres and roughly 17,400 structures. On the third day, October 8th, 1871, the fire blazed through the city, causing the majority of its damage. This is why Fire prevention Week is held around this time. But the official Fire Prevention Day was declared by president Woodrow Wilson in 1922, while this week-long observance time is officially known as the longest public safety health campaign.
But in 2000, the NFPA decided to extend Fire Prevention Week to continue throughout the entire month of October. Other public service providers, including schools, libraries, and utility companies have also joined the campaign in order to spread the word on fire prevention and safety as well as personal safety.
National Fire Awareness Month Themes
Each year, there is a different theme chosen to be centered around fire safety. Some historical themes include the following:
- Fire Drills – The Great Escape (2000)
- Cover the Bases and Strike Out Fire (2001)
- Team Up for Fire Safety (2002)
- When Fire Strikes, Get Out! (2003)
- Test Your Smoke Alarms (2004)
- Use Candles with Care – When You Go Out Blow Out! (2005)
- Home Cooking Fires: Watch What You Heat (2006)
- Practice Your Escape Plane (2007)
Fire Awareness Month Events and Concepts
The ultimate goal of Fire Prevention Week is to improve the overall awareness of how easily fires can start and spread, how to prevent them, and how to stay safe when a fire does occur. Thankfully, the public knows that preventing fires is more than just keeping kids away from matches.
Now, parents and kids can learn about the dangers and damages from natural disasters and household hazards. Many of these public service departments will often host fairs in retail store parking lots or parks during National Fire Awareness month, holding various safety demonstrations.
Safety demonstrations held during October include the following:
- What to do when an earthquake occurs
- Water conservation
- How to prevent a forest fire
- How a medical helicopter works
- How a police dog works
- What firefighters and paramedics wear during emergency situations
There are also a number of pamphlets and brochures that are handed out during these events. These include the following:
- Smokey the Bear hats
- Police badge stickers
- Brochures with information regarding the use of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and water conservation
- How to formulate an emergency escape route in your home
- How to conduct a fire drill
- Plastic firefighter hats
- Coloring books on fire safety
Preventing Fires at Home
Fire safety and awareness isn’t just something to keep in mind during October – it’s something that everyone should be mindful of year-round, especially during the colder months.
Here are some fire safety tips to check off at home:
- Purchase a fireproof safe
- Store matches and lighters in safe places
- Know how to use all appliances properly, including the air conditioner, hot water tank, and heater
- Have fire extinguishers in multiple areas of the home that are easily accessible
- Make sure each adult knows how to use a fire extinguisher properly
- Hold frequent, unexpected fire drills
- Formulate an escape route and practice it regularly
- Create fire puzzles and games to keep fire safety fresh in everyone’s minds
Other Resources for Fire Safety
When a fire strikes, it’s not often that families are prepared. It is the goal of Fire Prevention Week to change this issue. Here are some other sources to use in which fire safety can be learned in order to keep everyone safe and extinguish the fire as soon as possible during an emergency:
- Red Cross
- U.S. Fire Administration
- Sparky the Fire dog
- National Fire Protection Association
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
Fire Damage Restoration
Improving the awareness of fire safety is most important in order to minimize the chances of natural disasters. However, they cannot always be prevented. In the situation that they do occur, evacuating everyone and calling 911 is the most important step to take.
After ensuring their safety, addressing the condition of your property is extremely important. Many home and building owners are unaware that the damage from a fire can still spread long after the flames are extinguished. The soot and smoke byproducts seep into the walls, flooring, and ceiling, coating it with a thick, oily residue known as etching and tarnishing. If not addressed right away, this damage can become permanent.
Contacting a fire damage restoration company right away is crucial because doing so can save a great deal of time and money spent during the repairs process. One trusted name in the industry includes ServiceMaster. Their technicians are licensed, trained, and experienced to respond immediately to these disasters, arriving in a timely manner to restore the property to its original condition.
Covering everything from cleaning to repairing the structure, ServiceMaster can also clean your belongings, removing soot and smoke residue to avoid having to replace them. They will also work with your insurance company to coordinate the claims process, allowing you additional peace of mind while you focus on other priorities.
Never hesitate to give your local ServiceMaster a call in the case of a fire or other property emergency. Their technicians are on standby 24/7 to answer your call.