Fire Prevention Week 2022: A History

Fire Prevention Week has been observed each year since 1922, but the event it commemorates occurred over 50 years before that. 

On October 8 -10, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned through the city of Chicago. This fire destroyed over 17,000 structures and left over 100,000 residents of the town without homes. 

What Caused the Great Chicago Fire?

Although the origin of the blaze has never been determined, one widespread speculation claims that the fire was ignited when a local cow knocked over a lantern. While we will likely never know the true source of this fire, the dry, windy conditions and the abundance of wooden structures in the city at the time contributed to the extensive destruction. 

The Origins of Fire Prevention Week

Fast forward a few decades, and we come to 1922. That’s the year the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) sponsored the first public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance.

President Coolidge acknowledged that the extensive property damage and loss of life that occurred during the Great Chicago Fire could have been reduced or avoided if the appropriate measures had been taken. Fire Prevention Week was put into place to educate the public on key fire safety initiatives. 

And if you were concerned about the cow, the good news is that in 1997 the Chicago City Council passed a resolution exonerating it of any possible guilt. And today, the Chicago Fire Department Training Academy is located on the site of the property where the fire started.

Fire Prevention Week 2022

Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape

Each Fire Prevention Week has a theme selected and announced shortly before it begins. Fire Prevention Week 2022 is all about safe and fast evacuations in a fire emergency. We’re sharing some tips below. 

Know how to evacuate wherever you are

Whether you’re at home, at work, at school, or anywhere else, make sure you are aware of the available exits and how you might access them in case of a fire. 

Make sure your evacuation plan meets everyone’s needsFire Prevention Week 2022

Your evacuation plan should meet the needs of all building occupants, including those with sensory or physical disabilities. This may include installing both visual and auditory alarms to ensure everyone is aware of an alarm activation. This also means ensuring that all building occupants are able to safely exit the building.

Fire alarms save lives

Speaking of fire alarms, make sure that alarms are installed on every floor, in every sleeping area, and outside every sleeping area. Your building should also have an interconnected fire alarm system so that when one sounds, they all sound. 

Practice, practice, practice

Fire drills should be conducted on your property at least twice per year. If your property has spaces where people sleep, such as dormitories or assisted living facilities, you should practice evacuation drills during the day and at night as well. 

Join DynaFire for Fire Prevention Week 2022

We’re your source for Fire & Life Safety solutions, and we hope you join us in observing Fire Prevention Week this year by evaluating your evacuation plan. If you have any questions or concerns about the fire protection systems on your commercial property, our team is here to help.

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