Fire Prevention Week targets safety

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Each October since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has sponsored a fire prevention campaign to raise awareness about the importance of fire safety and fire safety education. Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10 - all next week.

U.S. fire departments responded to 399,000 home fires in 2007. These home fires killed almost 2,900 - roughly eight people every day.

This year's fire prevention campaign, Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned focuses on ways to prevent fires, and the deaths, injuries, and property loss they cause. Eighty-four percent of all fire deaths were attributed to a home fire. By providing valuable information on fire and burn prevention and safety tips, the campaign aims to help the public keep their homes and its occupants safe from fire and burns.

Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. That fire, which lasted for two days, killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 people homeless, and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings.

NFPA's newly launched Fire Prevention Week Web site offers an abundance of safety tips, statistical information, and other resources that can be used by fire departments, teachers, families, and anyone else interested in learning about fire prevention or teaching others about it.

Leading causes of fires in the home include cooking, heating, and electrical. Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. The leading injuries resulting from fires in the home are burns. Burns are painful and can result in serious scarring and even death. The most common types of burn are contact burns, scalds, and burns from fire or flame.

Someone was injured in a home fire every 39 minutes in 2007 and a fire department responded to a home fire every 70 seconds. By implementing simple safety measures many home fires and home fire injuries can be prevented.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

Please visit NFPA's Web site at http://www.nfpa.org .

Let's all get better informed during Fire Prevention Week to the many ways we can work together to prevent costly fires before they start.