What Is Fire Safety Week?
Every year a week is nominated as Fire Safety Week to highlight issues of fire safety and awareness of the dangers of fire particularly in the home. Fire Safety Week is normally held in early October.
History of Fire Safety Week
This week is very important in the calendar of fire services around the world. National Fire Safety Week has it roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on 8 October 1871.
The former American President, Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week in 1925 in memory of those who perished in that Fire. Since then, in early October, it has been observed each year in countries around the world. 138 years on, the message regarding fire prevention and fire safety is as relevant today as ever it was.
The theme for this year is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives”.
Aims and Objectives
Fire Safety Week is used to promote safe fire prevention practices and to educate the public about the true costs of fire. The idea is to use events and activities throughout the Week to show people how deadly fire can be, but also show ways in which fires can be prevented and the need for fire prevention at home and at work.
Importance of Fire Safety Week
With fires continuing to be a severe hazard and potentially damaging to not just property and possessions but also to people’s lives, having a week to raise the profile of the dangers of fire and educating people how they can avoid these dangers is extremely important.
Unfortunately, on average 46 people die in Ireland each year as a result of fire. Tragically, over 90% of the incidents occur in the home. Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable and these groups account for almost half of the domestic fatalities.
In most of these incidents, fire safety education and awareness could have prevented the loss of life in a fire or limited the damage.
- there are still homes with no working smoke alarms (ensure to fit an smoke alarm to your house if none is presently fitted, test the functionality of
- most people who die in fires die from smoke inhalation and not from burns
- it can take as little as 3 minutes to die from smoke inhalation
- a routine fire safety check only takes a few minutes but could mean the difference between life and death
Home Fire Prevention and Safety Checklist
- Plan an escape route
- Ensure all escape routes are clear of clutter and easily accessible, doors are easily and readily openable
- All smoke alarms work when tested
- Electrical cords are in good condition (not damaged or frayed)
- Appliances and lights are plugged into separate electrical outlets
- All extension cords are used safety (not under carpets) or across walking areas
- Whenever food is cooking in the kitchen that the cooking is always kept attended
- Curtains and other things that can burn are away from the stovetop
- The clothes dryer has a clean vent and filter (no lint build up)
- Portable space heaters are turned off whenever people leave the room or if people are going to sleep
- Portable space heaters are 3 feet away from anything that can burn and that no clothes are put to dry near or upon Portable Space Heaters
- The Oil Boiler has been inspected and tested in the past year.
- The Chimney has been inspected and cleaned regularly twice each year
- Make a bedtime check
all electrical appliances switched off (unless they are designed to be left on – like your refrigerator),
fire places are guarded with fire screen
don’t leave the washing machine on overnight
turn off portable space heaters
put candles and cigarettes out properly
keep door and window keys where everyone can find them